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Yucca Dough Empanadas


Yucca dough has been on my list for awhile now, so when I saw a simple recipe in Food and Wine this week, I decided now was as good a time as ever. The final texture and taste was similar to a mashed potato cake, so you can imagine that these guys were awesome! The dough was a little sticky and tough to work with at first, but as you got used to it it was no big deal to form perfect little empanada balls.

I never used yucca so it was pretty interesting. I didn't realize at first that there is actually a core in the center that you can't really eat. You need to peel the yucca, then cut around the core and boil for about a half hour.

Then just mash it into a dough. It comes together nicely. The recipe I saw didn't call for flour, but it was super sticky so I added about ¼ cup of flour to my yucca. It was still sticky. The filling here was some lightly sauteed cabbage, onion, and carrot, and some queso blanco cheese.

Just fold it up and roll into a ball.

Fry in an inch of oil.

Rotate so all sides get nice and brown.

Yum! These were a great little afternoon snack.

A dense yet fluffy potatoy dough, crisp on the outside, soft inside, and slightly crunchy veggies and cheese in the middle!

The yucca dough was really straightforward. I got 3 lbs of fresh yucca, removed the skin and inner woody core, boiled 25 minutes, and mashed. Then I added ¼ cup of flour and kneaded for about 5 minutes. When you form the balls, be sure to add plenty of flour or they will be super sticky and hard to handle. The filling was carrot, cabbage, and onion, fried in butter on high heat for about 5 minutes. Fry the balls in an inch of oil until browned on all sides.


These look excellent! I really like yucca. A lot. You can also buy tapioca/cassava flour made from the root at select stores (I've found it at Harvest Coop to use for Brazilian pão de queijo).

I am ever so pleased to see this recipe!

In Brazil we use manioc (yucca) a lot in various types of yummy dishes and one of them is a variation on your little yucca empanadas in which we use minced beef cooked with onions, herbs, olives etc. It is absolutely delicious and well worth a try ;)

I would love to try your filling :) are going to get a bellyache eating that.

The first mistake you made was in the fruits you selected. Mostly this is an issue of grocery stores not knowing that long yucca like that are no good. What you want is yucca taken when they are still short. That's the good yucca.

Boil for half an hour? Making yucca dough is an all day affair. Boil it about an hour. Then drain the water and let cool. Add more water and boil it again. Drain, let cool and mash into dough. Then add more water and boil it again! Drain, cool and squeeze the "dough" (note that you will probably need far more yucca than you first predicted). Add water and boil again. Keep doing this until no more starch is released into the boiling water. That's how you know it's done. That starch, btw is mostly undigestible. Consuming undigestible sugars and starches, ummmm.....well, don't do that.

Now roll your dough thin....THIN. Yucca dough is tasty because its chewy and carmalized after you fry it (not potato like). An empanada is like a soft calzone.

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