Ciao Bacalao!

Giving the old Bacalaitos recipe a little Asian twist from Shanghai with love.

 Bacalaitos Chinos – Salted Cod & Shrimp Fritters 

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Crunchy bites of Juicy sweet shrimp and salty cod with herbs. Yes Please! I served these one night when I had friends over for snacks and drinks and they were a hit.

A combination of Asian sweet savory flavors with salty crunchy warm bacalaitos from Puerto Rico.  Because these little fried treats are just easy to grab with a napkin, they make a super yummy quick snack.

A few months ago I was at the grocery store when I stumbled upon some salted cod. It immediately brought memories of every time I drive along the beach in Piñones PR where there are lots of roadside food vendors selling Bacalaitos, alcapurrias, piononos.


Alcapurrias & Bacalaitos at the hands of one of the many beach vendors in Piñones, PR


A couple of years ago I found myself traveling in Asia often for work.  While in China I discovered a lot of different flavors and dishes with very common ingredients found in tropical climates like our own in PR. Bacalaitos are salted cod fritters that always came to my mind every time I filled my plate with all those delicious Asian goodies.

Crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside... dim sum, scallion pancakes, shrimp fritters with soy sauce.

Crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside… dim sum, scallion pancakes, shrimp fritters with soy sauce.

So there I was at the grocery store with salted cod in my hands. I really craved the Asian sweet savory flavors, and the salty crunchy warm bacalaitos, so I figured I could try to join them in holy culinary matrimony in my kitchen! Why not?

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Bacalaitos Chinos


1/3 lb. Bacalao / Salted Cod
1/3 lb shelled shrimp
1/4 cup green bell pepper minced
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
2 tbsp diced green onions (green part only)
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup water
1 large clove garlic
1 tbsp sofrito
1 tsp of adobo
• pinch of pepper

Canola or Vegetable oil for frying

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Boil the salted cod in plain water for 10 minutes, discard the water and repeat the boiling process.  This will remove most of the salt content of the dried cod.  Taste a small piece to make sure its still somewhat salty but not too much.  After the cod has cooled down, mince the cod with your hands into small bite size pieces then set aside.

Dice the shelled shrimp and add to the salted cod in a bowl.

On a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, adobo. Then add water and whisk until the lumps are gone and the mix has a smooth texture.  Add the salted cod and shrimp mix and the rest of the ingredients. The mix should look chunky and somewhat creamy.  If you like a crunchier flatter bacalaito, just add more water to thin out the mixture.

In a deep pot or a fryer prepare the canola oil until it reaches 350º – 375ºF.

You can use a spoon or a meatball/ice cream scooper to transfer the bacalaito mix into the frying pan.  You can make them as big or small as you’d like!   Turn them around the pan to ensure a golden crisp on both sides and around all edges.

Remove from oil and heat with a slotted spoon, set aside on a dish with paper towels to remove any excess oil and you are done!

Serve with a light mojito sauce (olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and cilantro).

Crunchy bites of Juicy sweet shrimp and salty cod with herbs. Yes Please!

Crunchy bites of Juicy sweet shrimp and salty cod with herbs. Yes Please!