Puerto Ricans love their deep-fried dishes (‘frituras’) and if you visit the countryside, you’ll find roadside kiosks where locals enjoy different variations of ‘frituras’. You can start your island culinary trip by savoring “alcapurrias”, “bacalaitos” or a swee “pionono”.
Made with yucca and plantains, “alcapurrias” are fritters filled with ground beef, lobster, crab, shrimp, etc. They are similar to corndogs in America, but much more delicious. The best “alcapurrias” are sold at restaurants that sell Puerto Rican fried food. These establishments are often counter-serve, rather than sit down restaurants and can be find almost in every corner of Puerto Rico.
The savory bacalaítos, is basically a codfish fritter that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The recipe uses dry salted cod fish that been boiled or left over night in water removing most of its salt. The cod is shredded, mixed with milk or water with equal parts flour. The batter is well seasoned. Most cook’s add “sofrito”, cumin, oregano, black pepper, annatto, coriander seeds, parsley and sage, but seasoning isn’t limited and can be found in different variations.
“Piononos” are the perfect island appetizer. They are easily prepared using ripped, sweet plantains stuffed with seasoned meat or seafood and deep- fried. The Boricua version is different from the Spanish one because it replaces the layers of pastry with plantains.
Rellenos de papa
“Rellenos de papa” are potatoes stuffed with ground beef and deep fried to create a crispy outer layer. The meat filling, called “picadillo”, can be made by pan frying ground beef mixed with “adobo”, “sofrito”, tomato sauce, olives, oregano, and garlic powder. The “picadillo” is then stuffed into mashed potato balls and fried in hot oil. The result is a savory fried potato croquette.