Bacalaitos (Codfish Fritters) a delicious side dish that can substitute meat or fish in your Dominican meal. Our recipe and video make them easy-to-prepare.
Bacalaíto (Codfish Fritters) are very popular in the Dominican Republic, but we're not the only ones with a dish with this name and ingredients.
And Puerto Rico
Some time ago somebody commented that this recipe was Puerto Rican. Before I was able to reply, a reader left a very good comment, arguing that, with different names and slight differences in preparation, Bacalaíto (Codfish Fritters) was a pan-Caribbean recipe.
It's good to remember that when it comes to cooking, the wheel was invented a long time ago and that our countries have a lot in common that we often ignore.
Yes, Bacalaíto (Codfish Fritters) --also known as torrejas de bacalao-- is a Dominican dish.
Bacalaito is also a Puerto Rican dish. It is a Jamaican dish. It is a Trinidadian dish. It is a Bahamian dish. Etc. In other words: It is a dish shared by nations with a lot of common history and similar ethnic backgrounds.
To know what's yours makes you smart; to also know others' makes you wise.
About our recipe
As is the case with nearly every dish in our cuisine, each home/cook may add their special touch or ingredients. I love the way I prepare mine, but if you have a different way of making your bacalaítos, I'd love to hear it, so please let us know in the comments.
Bacalaitos Recipe (Codfish Fritters)
- ½ lb of salted codfish [0.23 kg]
- 3 tablespoons of milk
- A pinch of sugar
- 4 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon of chopped leek (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of chopped parsley
- ½ small onion diced into very small cubes
- ¼ red pepper diced into very small cubes
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup of oil
Desalting: Soak the cod in plenty of water (about a gallon [4 l] for 3 to 4 hours. Boil the cod in clean water until it starts to fall apart. Taste and change the water and soak again for half an hour if it is still too salty.
Mixing: Crumble the cod very finely and discard cartilage, bones, and skin. Taste to see how much salt is left. In a deep container mix the cod, milk, starch, chive, parsley, egg, sugar, bell pepper, and onion. If the cod was completely desalted in the previous step, add a pinch of salt.
Frying: In a frying pan, heat the oil to medium-high temperature (350 ºF [177 ºC]), and pour the mixture one spoonful at a time to make small cakes. Taste the first one that you fry to see if it needs a little more salt, if that is the case, add another pinch to the raw mixture. Fry the cakes until they are golden on both sides. Let them rest on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
Serving: Serve hot as an appetizer, side dish, or meat substitute.