Bacalaitos: How to Make Puerto Rico’s Famous Cod Fritters

Bacalaitos or cod fritters are sure to be served if you visit my dear friend and former Chicago neighbor Doña Felipa. She shows me how she makes her family-famous fiesta treat. She starts with dried, boneless, salted cod that has been gently boiled in water to cover to lose its saltiness. We watch as it start to puff up. She then adds diced onion, cilantro and the sabor of sazón, and you’ve got Puerto Rico’s favorite appetizer and beach snack. Bacalaitos are also a favorite during the no-meat Fridays of Lent, she says.

Back in Puerto Rico, where Felipa grew up, a truly great day at a Boricua playa (especially famous Luquillo beach, to the east of San Juan) means pulling over on the way there or home to buy hot, fried, finger-burning treats like bacalaitos and alcapurrias from your pick of dozens of roadside friquitines or food stands. But they taste ever better homemade. Watch to see how Doña Felipa makes them to add a Boricua kick to your next fiesta.

Find more Puerto Rican recipes by Doña Felipa here.

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