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Frituras de Malanga

I bought the malanga by mistake.  I’d considered adding it to my garbanzos last week but left it out at the last minute.  Not wanting to let it go to waste, I decided to try making fritters instead.  I’d stopped by a friends house unexpectedly when he was finishing a batch for salt cod fritters, and it looked so easy and simple that I wanted to try this variation.  They’re the kind of last minute side dish that could be whipped up in a few minutes.  I looked through a few different recipes that were very similar – malanga, eggs, a little garlic, maybe parsley.  Reading A Taste of Old Cuba, I was reminded that frying 0f any kind was always left for last so that the fritters, plantains or croquetas could be served hot and crisp, never greasy .  I hadn’t thought about it before but realized that I do associate the crackle and sizzle of frying with a great meal about to be had – a little music drawing everyone to the table.

Frituras de Malanga/Malanga Fritters
When I finished processing the malangas, I thought I’d made a mistake.  An oatmeal like mush, I regretted using the food processor instead of grating the malanga and mixing it by hand.  I decided to go ahead anyway, absentmindedly dropping the mixture in to the oil while I considered running out for more or just scratching it altogether.  When I looked down, the batter had turned into little golden drums.  Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, they reminded me of arancini balls.  I decided to make a fast garlic and lime ailoli to accompany them.  Having underestimated them, I felt like I owed them something.

1 pound raw malanga, peeled and cut into chunks*
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 to 2 cups vegetable oil

In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except for the oil.  Pulse for a few seconds until a loose, textured paste forms, do not over mix.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Add the oil to a large heavy skillet, about 2-3″ deep.  Heat over medium-high heat to 365 degrees.

Working in batches, carefully add batter to oil in large tablespoons.  Gently turn until brown on all sides, about 4 minutes.  Remove and drain on paper towels or re-purposed grocery paper bags.


Malanga is also known as Yautia in some Latin American markets.

They are best served immediately but can be frozen and reheated for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Barney got me the thomas keller book for christmas right before it was sold out everywhere. fyi – he is going to be in BookCourt on Court Street (BK – between Pacific and Dean ) tomorrow doing a lecture on the book.

    19 February 2010
  2. hungrysofia #

    Thanks for the heads up – that’s just a few blocks away from me!

    19 February 2010
  3. Teri #

    If you make these with only malanga, eggs and salt after they have been fried they make a nice sweet treat if you douse them with maple syrup, any grade it doesn’t matter.

    24 November 2012

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