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Island Bites: Empanadas de Yuca (Cassava Fritters)



  • 1 lb cassava, grated
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cubanelle pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 oz tomato sauce/puree
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt
  • 1 packet sazon Goya
  • olives, chopped (optional)
  • oil


  • You could use frozen grated cassava. Just let it thaw and remove excess liquid.


  1. Remove excess liquid from the grated cassava. Mix sazon and 2 tbs oil, then add to the grated cassava. Add 1 tsp salt and mix well. Fried a little dough so you can add salt to the rest of the dough if necessary.
  2. Brown ground beef in a couple tablespoons of oil. Add onions, peppers, garlic. Saute at medium temperature for 2 or 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce, herbs and spices, olives and salt. Let it simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Put about 2 inches of oil in a large pot. Heat at medium temperature.
  4. Smear a little oil in a large piece of aluminum paper. Spread about 1/4 cup of the empanada dough onto the aluminum paper. Place a tablespoon of the meat filling in the middle.Fold over one side of the foil to cover the meat. Press to seal ends. Peel away the foil and use the help of a spoon to slide the dough gently into the hot oil.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel or cooling rack.

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IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on June 22, 2013:


Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on June 22, 2013:

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We have empanadas here in Peru but I've never tasted them made with yucca. The process sounds simple enough and the photo makes me want to eat one now! I hope to try them soon. Voted up and shared.

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on June 07, 2013:

Didnt know there's a similar filipino dish. Cool. Thanks!

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on June 07, 2013:

Wow......these look delicious and not very complicated. My friend who is from the Philippines makes these and they are so good. I have to try making them myself. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on April 15, 2013:

Gracias. :-)

Ratmort on April 15, 2013:

Que ricas se ven, mmmm.

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