Recipe contributed to Hispanic Kitchen by Sweets and Beyond. Used with permission.
Like any other country, Puerto Rico has its share of fried foods or “cuchifritos” as we lovingly call them. One of my favorites is bacalaítos, or codfish fritters (salt cod fritters to be precise). They are a staple at roadside kiosks around the island and are so easy to make! They are the perfect combination of savory, salty and crunchy.
I’m not a fish lover, but I cannot get enough of them when I do make them! The bacalaítos that you buy at roadside kiosks are huge! They use big calderos (a large, wide pot) to fry them.
This is the bacalao that I buy:
To make the bacalaitos…
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 cups of water
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons sofrito
1 cup of desalted and flaked codfish
1 packet of Sazon Knorr (note: you’re not going to use it all, maybe 1/3 of the packet. You can also use Sazon Goya.)
Canola oil for frying
1. Rinse the bacalao in cold water and soak it for a few hours, changing the water twice.
2. Flake and set aside.
3. Mix the flour, baking powder, oregano, cumin, black pepper and the sofrito.
4. Add water and mix well. It should resemble pancake batter. Carefully fold in the flaked bacalao.
5. Add about 1/3 packet of sazon (it should have a yellow color).
6. Add salt to taste.
7. Heat canola oil in a big frying pan to medium high heat. There should be at least 2 inches of oil.
8. Drop your batter by spoonfuls into the hot oil. If you drop them in, you will have dense bacalaítos. If you spread the batter (drag it) you will have big and thin bacalaítos. Fry them a couple of minutes on each side, until they are golden brown. Drain them on paper towels and enjoy!
Watch me make bacalaítos on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi-KiSTROdE