Buñuelos de Bacalao, a traditional Spanish dish, is a mouthwatering delicacy that has been enjoyed for centuries. These crispy and flavorful cod fritters are a popular treat during the holiday season and are often served as tapas or appetizers. In this article, we will explore the history, ingredients, preparation, and cultural significance of buñuelos de bacalao, providing you with valuable insights into this delectable dish.

The History of Buñuelos de Bacalao

The origins of buñuelos de bacalao can be traced back to Spain, where cod has been a staple food for centuries. Cod was introduced to the Iberian Peninsula by the Basques, who were skilled fishermen. The abundance of cod in the Atlantic Ocean made it an affordable and accessible source of protein for the Spanish population.

During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church declared certain days as meatless, leading to an increased demand for fish-based dishes. This contributed to the popularity of cod in Spanish cuisine, and various recipes incorporating cod emerged, including buñuelos de bacalao.

The Ingredients

To prepare buñuelos de bacalao, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound of salted cod
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for frying

The key ingredient, salted cod, requires prior preparation. It needs to be soaked in water for at least 24 hours, changing the water several times to remove excess salt. Once the cod is desalted, it can be flaked into small pieces and used in the recipe.

The Preparation

Follow these steps to prepare delicious buñuelos de bacalao:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, eggs, and milk. Mix until you have a smooth batter.
  2. Add the flaked cod, chopped onion, minced garlic, and parsley to the batter. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stir the mixture until all the ingredients are well combined.
  4. Heat olive oil in a deep frying pan or pot.
  5. Using a spoon or your hands, shape the batter into small balls or fritters.
  6. Carefully place the fritters into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides.
  7. Remove the fritters from the oil and place them on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  8. Serve the buñuelos de bacalao hot, accompanied by a dipping sauce or aioli.

The Cultural Significance

Buñuelos de Bacalao holds a special place in Spanish culture, particularly during the holiday season. It is a traditional dish that brings families and friends together, often enjoyed as part of a festive meal or as a tapa during social gatherings.

These cod fritters are not only delicious but also represent the culinary heritage of Spain. They showcase the resourcefulness of Spanish cuisine, as they were created to make the most of the abundant cod available in the Atlantic Ocean. Buñuelos de bacalao also symbolize the importance of preserving and passing down traditional recipes from one generation to another.


1. Can I use fresh cod instead of salted cod?

While salted cod is the traditional choice for buñuelos de bacalao, you can use fresh cod if you prefer. However, keep in mind that the flavor and texture may differ slightly.

2. Can I freeze the buñuelos de bacalao?

Yes, you can freeze the cooked buñuelos de bacalao. Allow them to cool completely, then place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat, simply bake them in the oven until heated through.

3. What are some variations of buñuelos de bacalao?

While the classic recipe for buñuelos de bacalao remains popular, there are variations that incorporate different ingredients. Some recipes include the addition of potatoes or chickpea flour to the batter, adding a unique twist to the dish.

4. Are buñuelos de bacalao gluten-free?

The traditional recipe for buñuelos de bacalao contains all-purpose flour, which is not gluten-free. However, you can experiment with gluten-free flour alternatives to make a gluten-free version of this dish.

5. Can I serve buñuelos de bacalao as a main course?

While buñuelos de bacalao are typically served as tapas or appetizers, you can certainly enjoy them as a main course. Accompany them with a fresh salad or roasted vegetables to create a satisfying meal.


Buñuelos de Bacalao is a beloved Spanish dish that combines the flavors of salted cod, onions, garlic, and parsley into crispy fritters. This traditional delicacy has a rich history and cultural significance in Spain, particularly during the holiday season. By following a simple recipe, you can recreate this delicious dish in your own kitchen and experience a taste of Spanish culinary heritage. Whether enjoyed as tapas or as part of a festive meal, buñuelos de bacalao are sure to delight your taste buds and provide a memorable dining experience.