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Here is a Latin American favorite dish made with yuca. Carimañolas are a yuca dough filled with a tasty spiced meat mixture that is fried into a fitter. These are very popular in Panamá and Columbia. These are very similar to acapurrias and papas rellenas. | ethnicspoon.com
5 from 22 votes

Yuca Fritters - Carimañolas

You will love this crunchy and creamy Latin treat! Carimañolas are a yuca dough filled with a tasty spiced meat mixture that is fried into a fitter. These are very popular in Panamá and Colombia. These are very similar to Puerto Rican alcapurrias and papas rellenas.

Course Appetizer/Snack
Cuisine Latin American
Keyword breakfast, cassava, fried yuca, meat filling, Panama, tapas
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: Change to adjust-> 24 servings
Calories 83 kcal


Yuca dough:

  • 1 ½ lbs yuca 1 bag frozen yuca
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter salted
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 Tbsp flour

Note: Save ½ cup water from boiling the yuca.


Oil for frying. (canola oil works well)


Prepare the yuca dough:

  1. Peel the fresh yuca with a vegetable peeler and cut into 3 inch chunks. Frozen yuca will typically be sold peeled and cut into 3 inch pieces.

  2. In a large pot boil enough water to cover the yuca. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. When the yuca is fork tender transfer to a large bowl.

  3. Split open the yuca pieces in half and remove the fibrous threads that run down the middle. Discard the threads.

  4. Begin mashing the yuca with a potato masher.

  5. Add salt, and butter, and about ¼ cup of the reserved water.

  6. Mix in the egg.

  7. Next add the flour and continue mixing until you have a smooth dough.
  8. Leave the dough in the bowl and cover with a dishtowel until ready to use.

Prepare the meat filling:

  1. In a small bowl mix all the spices: Kosher salt, paprika, cumin, chili powder, adobo and allspice.

  2. In a skillet over medium heat sauté the onion, and garlic until translucent. Add the meat, spices and brown. Stir in the tomato, tomato paste, and recaito. Mix well.

  3. Once all the meat is fully browned and the tomatoes are very soft remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Prepare the fritters - carimañolas:

  1. When the dough is cool enough to handle, pinch off a piece and roll into a 2" ball.

  2. Flatten on the palm of your hand and place a small amount of filling in the middle. Close up and form in the shape of a torpedo.

  3. Set on a plastic cutting board ready to use. Tip: They will tend to stick to a wooden cutting board so use plastic or a ceramic pan.

  4. Fry in 350°F oil until golden brown.

Air fryer steps:

  1. Brush each one with canola oil on all sides and place in the basket of the air fryer.

  2. Set your air fryer to 350°F for 25 minutes and flip them half way through the cooking time. Air fry until golden brown on all sides.

Recipe Notes

  • Cooking the yuca properly, prior to assembling. How long is good enough? Well... you should be able to easily mash it with a potato masher.
  • As a cooking tip: I like to reserve a little bit of the cooking water just in case you need to make the dough more pliable if needed.
  • I like to use the pre-cooked frozen yuca, it helps save the step of peeling the yuca which can sometimes be cumbersome.
  • I also use my own recaito recipe, a cilantro based mixture essential in Latin American cooking. You can make up a batch and freeze into ice cubes, which is what I do.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can I make these in advance? Yes, you can make them all up in advance and refrigerate them for up to 3 days and then fry them just before you are ready to serve.
  • Can I freeze them? Yes, you can freeze them before or after you fry them. If you freeze before frying, thaw them in the refrigerator for a day and then fry. If you freeze them after frying you can warm then in to oven or air fryer. See below for reheating.
  • How do I reheat carimañolas? Reheat in the oven at 250°F for 10 minutes until warm in the center. I like to put them in my Cosori Air Fryer for 5 minutes at 250°F.


Nutrition Facts
Yuca Fritters - Carimañolas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 83 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Cholesterol 13mg4%
Sodium 310mg13%
Potassium 131mg4%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Vitamin C 6.7mg8%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.