Carimañola is a yuca fritter stuffed with meat or cheese popular in Colombia, especially in the Caribbean region of the country. Carimañolas de Carne y Queso are a delicious appetizer.
What is Carimañola?
Carimañola is a traditional dish from the Caribbean region of Colombia. It is a yuca fritter stuffed with meat, or cheese for a great vegetarian version. This dish is also popular in Panamá. Like many traditional dishes there are many variations and recipes in every family.
I usually don’t like to eat fried food, but once in a while I crave my Colombian fritters. Since I have to blog about Colombian cuisine, which includes all these fantastic fritters, I have the perfect excuse to eat them. 🙂 Carimañolas are delicious with suero Costeño or ají! Try them.
You can find the complete list of ingredients and directions in the printable recipe card below.
Yuca: Frozen or fresh yuca work for this recipe. I like to keep bags frozen yuca in my house, because it's already peeled and ready to go.
Oil: I recommend using vegetable or canola oil for frying.
Spices: Cumin, salt and pepper.
Cheese: I like to use whole milk mozzarella cheese.
Vegetables: Garlic, red bell pepper, onion and scallions.
Flavor: Tomato paste.
Beef: Good quality ground beef.
Carimañolas de Carne y de Queso Recipe
- 1 ½ pound frozen or fresh yuca
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese diced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ cup red bell pepper chopped
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 scallion chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ pound ground beef
- In a large pot place the yuca, salt and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes or until fork tender.
- Drain the yuca and remove any fiber from the center. Using a potato masher, mash the yuca, cover and set aside.
To prepare the Meat Filling:
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, red bell pepper and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, scallions, cumin, salt, black pepper and cook for about 1 minute, stirring often.
- Add the ground beef and cook until the meat is cooked trough, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Remove from the heat, adjust the seasoning and let it cool.
To make the Carimañolas:
- Divide the yuca mixture into 10 balls. Make a hole through the center of each ball with your finger. Place about 1 tablespoon of meat or cheese filling and gently close the ball, giving an oval shape.
- In a large pot heat the vegetable oil and heat to 350° F. Add the carimañolas to hot oil and cook about 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown, turning them often.
- Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve warm with ají.
Carimañolas are crispy on the outside and soft and in the inside. The meat filling is full of flavor and delicious.
More traditional Colombian appetizers to try
Ripe Plantains Fritters (Aborrajados)