If you’re tired of the same old appetizers, mix things up with some frituras!
Frituras are Puerto Rican fried snacks like my favorite pastelón empanadas (beef/cheese/plantain) and these cheese stuffed yuca balls.
Yuca isn’t as popular as some root vegetables, but if you like yuca fries then you will love these cheese stuffed yuca balls!
If you’re a potato fan then yuca is right up your alley!
I love to make garlicky yuca en escabeche with oil and vinegar dressing instead of potato salad in the summer. Delicious!
Yuca is similar to potatoes with a thick brown skin, but it has a starchier texture.
It doesn’t have too much flavor on its own, but makes a great to pair with other ingredients!
You can find it in the produce section and you may also see it called “cassava.”
To make things simple, I use a bag of frozen yuca that’s already peeled and ready to boil.
As for the yuca balls, they’re really quite simple.
Once the yuca is cooked you’ll need to remove the fibrous, woody stem from the core.
Then season to taste with salt and pepper and mash until smooth.
Take a spoonful of yuca and stuff it with a cube of cheese.
I prefer mozzarella since it has a mild flavor and gets gooey and stretchy when melted, but you can use any cheese you prefer.
Cheddar or gouda would be nice!
Once all the yuca has been shaped, you can cook immediately.
Or, you can refrigerate and cook within 1 day.
If they will not be cooked within a day, they can be frozen and fried at a later time.
Since the yuca is already cooked, you just need to fry the balls until crisp and golden, flipping once.
I like to serve the fried yuca with a variety of dipping sauces, but my favorite is guava sauce.
It’s only two ingredients – guava paste and white vinegar.
Guava paste is like a really thick jelly.
The vinegar balances the sweetness and thins it down to dipping consistency.
Together they taste like BBQ sauce and I love the sweet and sour combination with this appetizer!
Cheese Stuffed Yuca Recipe
- 16 Frozen Yuca (1 pound)
- 0.25 Mozzarella Cheese cut into ½ inch cubes
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
- 2 Guava Paste
- 0.25 White Vinegar to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water (about a tablespoon) and add the yuca. Cook according to the package instructions, or until fork tender (about 15-25 minutes).
- Drain the yuca and remove the woody stems from the core. Season with salt and pepper and mash until smooth.
- Take a heaping tablespoon of yuca and flatten in palm of hand. Place a cube of cheese in center and pinch the yuca around the cheese to form a ball. Repeat with remaining yuca and cheese.
- To fry, heat oil over high heat. Oil should be about 1/2-inch deep.
- Add yuca and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve with guava dipping sauce.
- Microwave the guava paste and vinegar until melted and stir until the consistency of barbecue sauce. Add additional vinegar if necessary, to thin.