This recipe is featured in Chef Yadira Pays it Forward
Carimañola is a traditional dish from the Caribbean region that is very popular in Panama. Carimañolas are often served as a snack or appetizer.
Watch Chef Yadira prepare Carimañolas on her YouTube channel.
For the yuca:
- 907 grams (2 pounds) fresh or frozen yuca, peeled
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) vegetable oil
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) fine salt
For the filling
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 green sweet pepper, finely chopped
- 454 grams (1 pound) ground beef
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) tomato paste
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) Maggi sauce
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) Worcestershire sauce
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) Italian seasoning
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) adobo seasoning
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) dried oregano
- 1.3 ml (1/4 teaspoon) celery salt
- 1.3 ml (1/4 teaspoon) ground cumin
- 1.3 ml ( 1/4 teaspoon) garlic powder
Adobo seasoning an all-purpose dry spice blend, consisting of paprika, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and turmeric, widely used in Caribbean cooking.
Maggi sauce is a fermented condiment is made from various ingredients, including tamarind, vinegar, molasses, anchovies, and spices.
- For the yuca: Cut yuca into small pieces. Place yuca in a pot with 2 liters (2 quarts) of water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Do not overcook or it will get mushy. Drain yuca and let stand for 5 minutes to cool. Remove spine in the center with a peering knife. Grind yuca in a grinder (or food processor). Add oil and salt to the ground yuca and knead to make a dough.
2. For the filling: While the yuca is cooking, begin preparing filling. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add oil. Add the onion and green peppers and cook until onions are translucent. Remove from skillet. Place ground beef in skillet and cook until no pink is visible. Add cooked onions and green peppers to cooked beef and add remaining ingredients and stir. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes to ensure that paste is cooked out. Strain cooked beef until all moisture is removed, and allow to cool.
3. To assemble and cook: Divide yuca dough into equal portions pof about 30 ml (2 tablespoons) each. Form each into small bowl shape and fill with two 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of ground beef. Close the top of dough like a purse and seal and shape like a football. Place into a pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
4. To cook, heat the oil for frying in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 177°C (350°F). Working in batches, fry the carimanolas until crispy and golden brown, for about 3 minutes per batch; if using a saucepan, turn the balls as needed to ensure even browning, . Drain on a paper towel-lined plate before serving.
Tips for frying carimañolas
Carimañolas tend to have a mind of their own. Below are a few tips to make sure when making and when ready to fry:
- Make sure that the ends of your carimañolas are pointed and not rounded
- Do not overcook the yuca, it will make the dough too soft and will not withstand the heat from the oil when frying
- Do not overcrowd the pan, that will cause the temperature to lower causing a soggy carimañola that could possibly pop open