Making Carimañolas

Carimañolas are a traditional Panamanian food. They’re a deep fried meat filled yucca roll that we used to eat from time to time when I was a kid. We, of course, never deep fried them because my mom is a health food stickler. 

Last week my friend, Olinda, taught the kids and me how to make them. Her version was 500% better than any store bought option. She runs a breakfast food stand that specializes in classic Panamanian food like empanadas, patacones, carimañolas, and so on. Everyday she has a line of people waiting for her to open so it’s been confirmed her food is amazing. 

Here’s the finished product. You only have to fry them for a short bit till they get golden. Leave them in the oil too long and they’ll explode. Seriously this almost happened to us. I’ve never seen a person move so fast as Olinda bolted to scoop it out in time. 

First you boil the yucca with some culantro. Not to be confused with the cilantro we can get in the US. Maybe I’ll write a post about that later. It’s a tragedy. 

Once you get boiled yucca you mash it. 


And I mean MASH. We used a meat grinder kind of thinger. 

Then you make a ball of the yucca stuff and pat it into a round. Make a little well and spoon in your meat mixture. The meat is just spiced up ground beef. 

Then bring the edges together to make a roll. Make sure it’s all sealed and voila. They are ready to fry. 

Best thing ever. They are great with a little Pico de Gallo. 

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