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Carimañolas (stuffed yucca fritters)

This a dish we ate in Panamà which I couldn’t remember the name of. This recipe is also from Cocina Panameña. I changed the recipe a little for clarity (the filling instructions used to be in the middle of the fritter instuctions) but the original was translated into English from Spanish so some of the wording is still awkward. Please read the notes before you make this for the first time.

3 pounds yucca
3 teaspoons* oil (aceite)
1 tablespoon salt (sal)
oil for deep frying
  • Peel yucca, cut into pieces and cook in water until slightly soft. Do not over cook.
  • Grind while warm and knead with oil and salt until the batter is soft but firm.
  • Form balls with the yucca, flatten it, add one tablespoon of the filling and close it, giving it an elongated form (cylinder shape).
  • Heat the oil and fry the fritters until brown.
  • Remove from oil and drain excess oil by placing them on a paper towel

1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onions (cebollas)
2 finely chopped garlic cloves (dientes de ajo)
1 chopped bell pepper (pementòn or aji)
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped hot pepper**
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (cumino molido)
1 pound ground beef (carne res molido)
2 tablespoons tomato paste*** (pasta de tomate)
1 teaspoon salt (sal)

  • Heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic and bell pepper.
  • Add the hot pepper, cumin and meat.
  • Mix the mixture with a fork until the meat is loosened.
  • Add the tomato paste and salt.
  • remove from stove


*the Spanish says teaspoons the English says tablespoons, I’m betting the Spanish is correct

** probably serrano or jalepeño, I only saw those and poblanos in the supermarket in Panamà, the food is not hot at all there.

*** I have never found tomato paste in Merida, the tomato paste that I have came from NOB.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!

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