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Puerto Rican bacalaito recipe


Puerto Rican bacalaitos (cod fish fritters) are packed with flavor and fried until perfectly crispy. This seafood appetizer or side dish will quickly become one of your favorites to enjoy.
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Keyword: bacalaitos, bacalaito, cod fish fritters, puerto rican bacalaitos, bacalaito recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Desalinating Fish Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 7 hours
Servings: 18 servings
Calories: 127kcal


  • 1 lb salted boneless, skinless cod fish desalinated
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups water 1 cup reserved fish water
  • 1 packet sazon con culantro y achiote
  • 2 tsp adobo or to taste
  • 2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion chopped and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp sofrito


  • Rinse the salted cod fish with cold water.
  • Place the cod fish inside of an air tight container and add enough cold water to cover the fish. Close the lid and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours, drain the water and add fresh, cold water. Refrigerate once again for another 2 hours. Repeat this step one more time. It takes a total of 6 hours to desalinate the fish.
  • Drain the water from the cod fish and add the fish to a large pot with enough fresh water to cover the fish.
  • Boil the cod fish for 3 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and reserve 1 cup of the fish water. Set aside the water and fish to cool.
  • Chop and dice the onion. Finely mince the garlic cloves and cilantro.
  • In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, adobo, Sazon, sofrito, minced garlic, onion and cilantro.
  • Begin adding the completely cooled, reserved fish water to the batter while whisking at the same time.
  • Once you’ve added all of the fish water, begin adding 1 cup of fresh water to the batter. Stir everything well to combine.
  • Once the fish has cooled, drain the water through a colander. Transfer the cod fish to a separate plate and use 2 forks to shred them.
  • Fold the shredded fish into the batter using a spatula.
  • Heat enough oil in a large pot to cover the fritters. The oil should reach at least 365-370 degrees F.
  • Scoop out 1/4 cup of bacalaito batter and add it to the hot oil, creating a thick line.
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the edges are golden brown. You’ll know it’s time to flip, once the bacalaitos rise to the top of the pan. Do not crowd the pan, or the oil temperature will drop too low.
  • Transfer the cooked cod fish fritters to a paper towel lined plate to soak up the excess oil.
  • Finally, serve the bacalitos and enjoy!


  • Some people like adding bell peppers and other seasonings to their batter. I recommend seasoning to taste and adding anything you’d like to make this recipe your own.
  • Test fry one fritter first to make sure the seasonings and salt are according to your taste. You can always add more if needed.
  • The oil should reach at least 365 – 370 degrees F for frying. Do not crowd the pan, otherwise the temperature will drop and it will impact the texture of your bacalaitos.


Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 2273mg | Potassium: 389mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg