Monday, September 27, 2010

Meatless Monday: Croquetas de Yuca

So, no... I did not make this up. Turns out this is quite common in the Colombian cuisine.

1 lb or more of frozen yuca (you can use fresh peeled yuca)
3 tbsp olive oil or butter
salt and pepper to taste
all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
bread crumbs
oil for frying

Boil your frozen yuca until tender. Strain and let cool. Remove the center root piece and any other hard pieces. Cut up into small pieces add your olive oil or butter and mash it. Add your salt and pepper to taste. You can used your hands to knead it into a ball making sure the oil and seasonings are distributed evenly. (Sorry, I did not get a picture of this step).

Line up three shallow bowls. In the first one pour some flour. In the second the beaten eggs with a bit of water, and in the third your bread crumbs (I used seasoned bread crumbs which is what I had on hand, but any bread crumbs or cracker meal will do). Using a tablespoon separate a small amount of yuca and roll it into a ball and then a cylinder. Coat it with your flour, then your egg wash, and lastly the bread crumbs. Place onto a plate. Repeat this process until you've used up all your mashed yuca.

In a heavy skillet heat about 1/2 inch of oil, fry your croquetas in small batches, regulating the temperature of the oil so that they don't brown too quickly. Transfer when golden brown to a paper towel lined plate. Serve as is or with your favorite dipping sauce.... in my case, Heinz Ketchup!

This was a very basic recipe. To your mashed yuca you can add ingredients such as garlic, parsley, pepper flakes, chives, etc or if you don't want to go meatless you can add bacon bits or chopped ham. Be creative.


  1. We love yuca at our house and these look great, so professional! Yummy!

  2. Ivonne, I have actually eaten these croquetas de yuca at restaurants in Miami (I can't remember exactly where, but could be Las Culebrinas). Never in Cuba or at home, though. So it might very well be a recipe from Colombia or any other Latin American country (I think they also make them in the Dominican Republic; I'll ask my friend Mercedes, she is from Santo Domingo), or even Spain. Wherever the recipe is from, they look amazingly tasty in your pictures. When I ate them at the restaurant, I found them a little bland in taste. So I would probably kick up the garlic and include some Italian parsley or even some fresh cilantro (they love cilantro in Colombia and I do too, for certain dishes). Love your meatless Mondays. You always give me ideas and show me that there is life beyond meat. XOXOXOXOX

  3. Lyndsey, Pedro... I made these according to the recipes I found online. My daughter thought they were a little bland (I thought they were fine), but you can definitely spruce them up by adding your favorite spices/ingredients.

  4. Niña linda, gracias por tus palabras y por pensar hoy en mí. A veces no hay que decir mucho. Te siento. Gracias.

  5. Mmmm, they look sooo good! And I love your meatless Mondays, too!

  6. LOL. If I go through the trouble of removing the hard stems from the yuca and mashing to a paste, I always make "Yuca Rellena" (stuff it with Cuban Picadillo, do it like a papa rellena) use this recipe, except you know treat the mashed yuca like the same way as the mashed potatoes for papa rellena and do the whole flour, egg, breadcrumbs deep-fry. It's so good, and like I've said probably before works well with green plantains too, just be sure that when you mash it make a workable dough by slowly mashing in the water that cooked the plantains (since cooked green plantains tend to be dry and absorb a lot of liquid as they cool) and also a good drizzle of olive oil. It'll be like "Bolas de Fufu Rellenas de Picadillo"

    You'll love it I.M.!