Nuéganos de Yuca (Honduran-Style Yuca Fritters), photo by Suellen Pineda, RDN, CDNPhoto by Suellen Pineda, RDN, CDN

Nuéganos de Yuca (Honduran-Style Yuca Fritters)

Cuisine: Honduran
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 dozen fritters

Nuéganos — similar to Salvadoran nuégados — are delicious fritters made with yuca (also known as cassava), masa harina and cheese and served with a panela/piloncillo sweet sauce.  The salty-sweet combination makes them a delectable dessert. If you want to take them up a level of deliciousness, serve them warm with vanilla ice cream. It’s always a great pairing!

Ingredients

  • pounds fresh yuca peeled and grated
  • 1 pound medium-moisture white cheese such as queso fresco crumbled finely
  • 1/2 pound masa harina (precooked cornmeal)
  • 1 egg
  • cups water (reserve 1½ cups for the dough)
  • 1 piloncillo/panela block
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4-5 spice cloves
  • 2-3 anise stars (optional)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • canola oil for frying

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Directions

  1. Make the Panela Sauce: In a heavy bottom, medium size pot, combine panela, water, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Let it dissolve over low-medium heat. Stir constantly and cook until sauce acquires a “syrupy” consistency. Remove from heat, remove solids and reserve.
  2. Make the Dough: Combine the masa harina, cheese, yuca, egg, pinch of salt and pepper. Add water until dough forms. You may need to add more water until the dough feels soft but not too wet.
  3. Form the Nuéganos: Divide the dough into 24 balls. On a clean working surface, roll each ball and form into a doughnut-like shape.
  4. Now for the Frying: Heat oil in a frying pan to 375ºF. Fry the nuéganos until golden brown. Drizzle with panela sauce and serve immediately.
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