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.