Muchines de Yuca
(Ecuadorian stuffed and fried cassava balls)
Muchines de yuca are tasty cassava balls with a crunchy outside protecting a soft, savory filling. Serve as an appetizer or as a side dish topped with little ají hot pepper sauce.
Makes about 12 muchines
- Filling (see notes) -- 1 cup
- Yuca (cassava), peeled and grated -- 1 pound
- Onion, grated -- 1
- Egg -- 1
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Oil for frying
- First, prepare the filling of your choice according to directions below. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the yuca, onion, egg, salt and pepper.
- Place about 1/4 cup of the yuca mix in one hand and form a depression in the middle with your thumb. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the depression and fold the yuca over to enclose it. Form the yuca into an egg-shaped ball and squeeze out any excess moisture. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the yuca and filling.
- Heat oil 1 to 2 inches of oil in a skillet, deep pot or deep fryer over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add 3 to 4 muchines balls at a time and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn midway to brown both sides.
- Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and serve hot.
Muchines de Yuca Variations
- Cheese Filling: Use 1 cup of grated jack, mozzarella, Swiss or any melting cheese you prefer.
- Pork Filling:
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium flame. Sauté the onion, parsley and cilantro in the oil until the onion is translucent.
- Add the pork, cumin and salt and sauté, breaking up meat, until the meat is cooked through.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of water and cook until mostly evaporated. Adjust seasoning to taste and set aside to cool.
- Optional: A chopped hard-boiled egg may be stirred into the meat at the end if you like.