Bacalaitos (Salted Cod Fritters)

Bacalaitos Header

Obed has been bugging me for months to make him some bacalaitos.   Ever since I made some zucchini fitters, which he apparently associated with bacalaitos, he has been asking me to make them.  I don’t know what took me so long because I love these fritters too.

Bacalaitos are a staple of roadside cuisine back home in Puerto Rico.  If you go driving around the island you will find kiosks and small whole in the wall joints with this delicious fritter in their window.


I remember my mom always love to just go for a drive.  No destination in mind, just wanted to go on a leisurely drive.  Sometimes it was the whole family, sometimes it was just Mami, my sister and I.  Those trips were the most interesting because I don’t think Mami would use a map or she didn’t know how to read one because we would end up lost on many occasions.  Mami would say, “We’re not lost, we just don’t know were we are.”  I think the thought behind that was that we are on an small island so we can’t “really” get lost, we will eventually find our way home.

If it hadn’t been for those kiosks and hole in the wall joints with their yummy fried treats and cold malta, we wouldn’t have survived those drives.


I love these crispy, crunchy fritters and I promise you will too.   If you get them just right they are very crispy a long the edges and just a bit of chewy on the inside.  They are to die for!    I could eat 15,000 of these in one sitting if my anatomy allowed me too.    When ever I go home to visit I never leave the island without having my “fritura” fix.

Fair warning Puerto Rico is not a place to go on vacation if you are watching your weight, love handles or dimples on your posteriour.  I always come back carrying a little extra junk. 😀


The one thing you have to keep an eye on when making these fritters is the temperature of the oil.  If the oil gets too hot the fritters will cook to quickly and become really puffy.  They almost look like a funnel cake.  The batter will start to cook as soon as it hits the oil, so you don’t get the nice spread you see in the picture.   It may take a few trys but they are so worth it.

If you get these down maybe you can open a roadside kiosk.  HA!

Print Recipe

Bacalaitos Fritos (Salted Cod Fritters)

  • 1/2 lbs salted cod
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cup of water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs sofrito
  • vegtable oil

Rinse cod under cold water to remove some of the salt.  Boil cod in a large pot for 15 minutes, change water and boil for another 15 minutes.  Drain the cod  and set aside until it is cool enought to handle. Shred the cod using your fingers make sure that there are no bones and remove any skin, set aside.

In a motar and pestal mash together garlic cloves and sofrito.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and garlic mash together in a bowl.   Add water a little at a time, whisking together until well combined and smooth, fold in shredded cod.

Heat oil in a deep skillet to 375 degrees.

Ladle batter into oil, be sure not to crowd the fritters or they may stick together.  Fry until they are a nice golden color, turning once.  Use a slotted spoon to remove any batter bits that are floating in the oil

Drain on plate lined with paper towel.

Build a kiosk on the side of the road and start selling.


  1. Lisa says

    omg I too love bacalaitos and its what I miss most about the island! I was wondering if when buying “salted cod” it comes in a bag labeled as such or do you actually buy it as “bacalao”. I don’t know what to buy in American supermarkets, I guess only latin supermarkets will call it bacalao but don’t have any of those nearby.

  2. says

    You don’t know fattening bacalaitos until you’ve tried ones that are the size of torillas! They sell them that size as festival food here in Florida.

  3. says

    I am definitely going to try these. Do you make Bacalau Salad? I have a friend who is Puerto Rican and she showed me how to make it. It is posted on my site, I am wondering how you make it, if you do.
    Thanks, BJ

  4. Mike in AZ says

    We used to get these in Pinones, when I lived in Isla Verde… they are so good! Salt Fish is expensive here in PHX tho-, we have frinds bring in from NYC….. Another thing I dearly miss is an authentic Cubano Sandwich…….

  5. Lenise says

    OH MY GOD these look so good! I’ve never made them myself because my grandfather made them so good, anything I can put out would just be sad in comparison… but it might be fun trying anyway :) Thanks for the recipe!


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