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Caribbean Appetizer recipes: Bacalao Fritters

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As far as Caribbean appetizer recipes go, these Bacalao fritters are found in some form all over the Caribbean. We’ve put up our favorite version of this Caribbean appetizer recipe. People on the Spanish Caribbean islands call salted cod "Bacalao". Cod was first salted out of necessity – there was no refrigeration and salting was an excellent method for preserving food. Salted cod has since become a delicassy – it is somewhat labour intensive though as the bacalao must be soaked over night to get most of the salt out of the fish.


  • Half pound of Bacalao (salted cod)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Small onion finely diced
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • Chili pepper minced to desired heat level!
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon annatto or saffron infused water


Soak cod in fresh cold water in the fridge for at least 10-12 hours. You should change the water several times to try to get as much salt out of the fish as possible.

Poach cod for 20 minutes, drain out the water and remove skin and bones. Heat a few tablespoons of oil, add the annatto and the diced onion and cook until soft – set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. Then add all of the wet ingredients, including the cod and the cooked onions and mix vigorously until a batter is formed. Get ½ inch of vegetable oil smoking hot then add large spoonfuls of batter one at a time. Fry for a few minutes on each side.

These Caribbean Bacalao Fritters are one of the great Caribbean appetizer recipes as they can be served hot or cold. They’re also great Caribbean party food!

Looking for more great Caribbean appetizer recipes?