How to Make Rellenos de Yuca
Rellenos de Yuca are the perfect appetizer for any occasion. These little fritters are made from a simple dough consisting of just yuca and seasonings. That dough is the filled with cheese or meat (or really anything you want) and then deep fried until golden brown. These are super simple and super delicious!
4 lbs yuca
4 tsp sazon (2 packets)
1/2 tsp achiote oil
Cheddar Cheese, 1/2 in cubes
Let’s start by peeling our yuca so we can get it boiling. To do this, just cut off both ends of the yuca, and then use a sturdy vegetable peeler to peel away the tough outer skin. Make sure to go down deep enough so that the only thing you see is white flesh.
Once peeled, give your yuca a quick rinse with water and then use a knife to cut away any last discolored portions. Also, if you find any soft spots in your yuca, cut those out with a knife.
When you’re finished cleaning your yuca, cut it into quarters, approximately two inches in length. You want to keep the pieces pretty small, in order to make sure that they cook quickly and evenly as you boil it.
After you’ve cut your yuca, place it in a large bowl and add enough water to cover it completely. Here, I’ve added eight cups of water. It’s important to keep track of how much water you use, because we also want to salt our water, in order to help the salt penetrate deep into the yuca, and you’ll need to add more or less salt depending on how much water you add. I’ve added two teaspoons of salt to my eight cups of water. If you use more or less water, just adjust the amount of salt proportionally.
Once your water, yuca, and salt are in your pot, turn it on high and bring it to a boil and put the lid on. Boil your yuca for 35 minutes, until it is very soft and easily pierced with a fork. If the yuca is still hard when you test it, keep boiling it and check it every five minutes or so.
Once your yuca is done cooking drain off the water and let it cool down a little.
When your yuca is cool enough to handle, begin smashing it. I like to start with a fork, and smash one piece at the time. The reason for this is that yuca pieces often contain thick fibrous veins that you want to make sure and remove. And smashing each piece, one by one, makes it easier to find these veins and remove them.
Keep smashing your yuca until it forms a soft paste, almost like lumpy mashed potatoes. Once smashed, add your achiote oil and sazon, and mix to combine thoroughly.
With your dough prepared, you are ready to form your fritters. Let’s start with our cheese-filled ones. Spoon approximately one-third a cup of dough onto your hand, and then press it into a rough disk, approximately half an inch thick. Then take one of your cheese blocks and press it into the middle of the disk. Use your hands to wrap the disk up, around the cheese, and then roll the fritter into a tight ball, pushing it together tightly.
Now on to the meat-filled ones. The process for making these is basically the same. Take about one third a cup of dough and flatten it into a disk. Then use your fingers to create an indent in the middle of the disk and fill it with approximately one tablespoon of picadillo. Then roll up the sides of the disk, fully encompassing the picadillo, and roll your fritter into a ball, packing it together tightly.
Keep going until all of your dough is finished.
Once your rellenos de yuca are formed, let’s go ahead and fry them.
Start by adding oil to a deep pan. I’ve found that the fritters cook best when they are completely submerged in oil. If you only have enough oil to cook half of them, sometimes the uncooked side will burst when you turn it over. To that end, I’ve added about an inch and a half of oil to my pan.
Heat your oil to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and then add your rellenos, one by one. They should start bubbling immediately and if they don’t, your oil isn’t hot enough.
Because the rellenos are completely submerged, there’s no need to flip them. However, give them a little stir from time to time, to prevent them from sticking to the bottom or each other.
Once your fritters are golden brown, remove them from the oil and let them drain on a cooling rack.
Keep frying the rest of your fritters until they are all cooked, then you are ready to enjoy!
Check out our instructional video, showing how to make this recipe step-by-step HERE.