Yamarita: A Deliciously Different Recipe

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Yamarita, a savory deep-fried dough ball filled with cheese, is a beloved street food in Ecuador. These golden pockets are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or even a light lunch. They are surprisingly simple to make at home, requiring just a handful of ingredients and minimal effort.



2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup grated queso fresco (or mozzarella cheese)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk

  • Instructions:

    1. Prepare the Dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut the softened butter and vegetable shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

    2. Incorporate Wet Ingredients: Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and gently fold it into the dry ingredients until just combined. Avoid overmixing, as this can make the dough tough.

    3. Chill the Dough: Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Chilling allows the dough to relax and become easier to work with.

    4. Assemble the Yamaritas: Lightly flour a work surface. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Using a round cookie cutter or a glass, cut out circles from the dough. Place a spoonful of grated cheese in the center of each dough circle.

    5. Seal and Shape: Carefully fold the dough circles in half to form semicircles, encasing the cheese filling. Pinch the edges to seal tightly, creating a crescent shape. Repeat this process with the remaining dough and cheese filling.

    6. Fry the Yamaritas: Heat enough oil in a large pot or deep fryer to reach a temperature of 350°F (175°C). Gently drop the yamaritas into the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove the yamaritas with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.

    7. Serve and Enjoy: Yamaritas are best served warm. You can enjoy them plain, drizzled with aji sauce (a spicy Ecuadorian sauce), or dusted with a sprinkle of aji flakes for a touch of heat.

    Nutrition Facts (per yamarita):

    Calories: 250

  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 35mg
  • Sodium: 250mg
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Protein: 5g

  • Conclusion

    Yamaritas are a delightful and easy-to-make treat that is sure to please everyone from adventurous foodies to picky eaters. They are perfect for a quick and satisfying snack or a fun and unique addition to your next party. So next time you’re looking for a delicious and affordable way to explore Ecuadorian cuisine, give yamaritas a try!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I substitute the cheese filling in yamaritas?

    Absolutely! While queso fresco is traditional, you can use any type of shredded cheese that you enjoy. Mozzarella, cheddar, or a blend of cheeses would all work well.

    2. How can I reheat leftover yamaritas?

    Yamaritas can be reheated in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-7 minutes, or until warmed through. You can also reheat them in the microwave for short bursts, but be careful not to overcook them or they will become tough.

    3. What dipping sauces go well with yamaritas?

    Yamaritas are delicious on their own, but they also pair well with a variety of dipping sauces. Aji sauce, a spicy Ecuadorian sauce, is a classic choice. You could also try them with guacamole, sour cream, or your favorite salsa.

    4. Can I make the yamarita dough in advance?