During our recent trip to Costa Rica, we enjoyed these delicious fried yuca balls at the La Laguna Restaurant at The Springs Resort & Spa.
Made from the cassava root, also called yuca, this tropical-inspired appetizer is a delicious and somewhat healthy change from the predictable French fries or mozzarella sticks. In fact, cassava root has 20 percent of your daily value for vitamin C, and has 12 percent of your daily value of copper.
To make fried yuca balls, I recommend starting with frozen yuca, since it’s easier to find, but you can also use fresh yuca. Serve this with a side of Chipotle Mayonnaise or Sriracha Mayonnaise for a delicious dipping sauce.
Fried Yuca Balls (Yuquitas)
- 16 ounces frozen yuca
- 1/2 pound mozzarella cheese cut into ½ inch cubes
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs or regular dried bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
- Fill a large stock pot with water, season with salt, and bring to a boil. Add the yuca and cook about 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
- Drain the yuca and remove any fibers from the middle. Season with salt and pepper, and mash until smooth.
- Place eggs in a shallow casserole dish, and add the panko bread crumbs to another shallow casserole dish.
- Form the mashed cooked yuca into approximately 12 small balls. Flatten, and add a small piece of cheese to the center, then form into balls to completely close in the cheese.
- Dip each yuca ball into the beaten eggs, followed by the panko bread crumbs. Be sure to coat all sides well during both stages.
- Using a deep fryer, cook the balls until they browned on all sides, about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from the fryer and allow to dry on a paper-towel lined dish.