Bolitas de Yuca y Queso are a popular snack and appetizer, loved for their irresistible combination of creamy yuca (cassava) and gooey melted cheese. This recipe takes the humble yuca root, a staple in many Latin American kitchens, and transforms it into a culinary masterpiece. After boiling and mashing the yuca, it’s mixed with a blend of cheese, heavy cream, egg, and salt, and then lovingly shaped into bite-sized balls and deep-fried to a crispy perfection. The result is a delectable crunchy, golden exterior that gives way to a soft, cheesy interior bursting with flavor and savory goodness.
1 pound yuca, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
3 cups fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic
1/2 lemon, juiced
01Add yuca to medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil over high heat and cook until fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain yuca and transfer to large bowl. Mash yuca using potato masher or fork until smooth. Set aside and cool to room temperature for 20 minutes.
02Stir in 1 cup cheese, heavy cream, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon salt until combined. Wet hands with water as necessary to prevent sticking and roll yuca mixture into sixteen 1/4 cup-sized balls. Press desired amount of remaining cheese into center of each ball, and cover with yuca mixture. Beat remaining eggs in small bowl. Place flour and breadcrumbs in two separate small bowls. Roll yuca balls in flour, egg and breadcrumbs making sure each one is well coated. Repeat with remaining yuca balls.
03Heat Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and fill halfway with oil. Heat oil to 350°F. Working in batches, fry yuca balls, rotating frequently, until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining yuca balls.
04Meanwhile, add cilantro, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and remaining salt to food processor and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Serve yogurt sauce with fried yuca balls and enjoy.