Carimañolas I Recipe from Panama | Delicious Yuca and Ground Meat Dish

Carimañolas I

Carimañolas I Recipe from Panama | Delicious Yuca and Ground Meat Dish
Region / culture: Panama | Preparation time: 45 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 10


Carimañolas I
Carimañolas I

Carimañolas are a popular Colombian dish made with yuca (cassava) that is boiled, mashed, and filled with a savory meat mixture before being fried to golden perfection. These delicious snacks are perfect for parties, gatherings, or just as a tasty treat.


Carimañolas have their origins in the Caribbean region of Colombia, where they are a traditional dish enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. The name "carimañola" is believed to come from the indigenous Kuna people of Panama, who have a similar dish made with yuca and filled with meat.


  • 3 lb (1.36 kg) yuca
  • salt to taste


How to prepare

  1. Boil the yuca with salt, but do not allow it to get too soft.
  2. Grind it with a fine blade in a grinder and knead it with salt.
  3. Form balls, flatten them in the palm of your hand, and fill them with stuffing, forming an oval shape.
  4. Pinch the ends to close them.
  5. Fry them in very hot oil until golden.
  6. To make the filling, season the ground meat with salt, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, capers, onion, sugar, garlic, and parsley.
  7. Brown it in a very small amount of hot oil and add tomato paste.
  8. Simmer it until it becomes quite dry.
  9. If you want to freeze the carimoñolas, dust them with a little flour after they are formed and place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer until firm, then place them in sealed ziplock bags.
  10. To fry them, take them from the freezer and put them in hot oil all at once, as they may fall apart.
  11. Only do one or two at a time.


  • For a vegetarian version, substitute the ground meat with a mixture of sautéed vegetables and beans.
  • For a spicier version, add chopped chili peppers or hot sauce to the meat filling.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure not to overcook the yuca when boiling it, as it should be firm enough to be mashed but not too soft.

- When forming the carimañolas, make sure to seal the ends well to prevent the filling from leaking out during frying.

- If freezing the carimañolas, be sure to dust them with flour to prevent sticking and place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet before transferring to a sealed ziplock bag.

Serving Suggestions

Carimañolas can be served as a snack on their own or as part of a larger meal with rice, beans, and salad.

Cooking Techniques

Be sure to fry the carimañolas in hot oil to ensure a crispy exterior.

- Use a fine blade in a grinder to grind the yuca for a smoother texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

If yuca is not available, you can use mashed potatoes or plantains as a substitute.

- You can use any type of ground meat for the filling, such as beef, chicken, or turkey.

Make Ahead Tips

Carimañolas can be prepared ahead of time and frozen before frying. Simply follow the instructions for freezing in the recipe.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the carimañolas on a platter with a side of salsa or guacamole for dipping.

Pairing Recommendations

Carimañolas pair well with a cold beer or a tropical fruit juice.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover carimañolas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of carimañolas contains approximately 300 calories.


Carimañolas are a carbohydrate-rich dish due to the yuca used in the recipe. Each serving contains approximately 30 grams of carbohydrates.


The fats in carimañolas come primarily from the oil used for frying. Each serving contains approximately 15 grams of fat.


The protein in carimañolas comes from the ground meat filling. Each serving contains approximately 20 grams of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Carimañolas are a good source of iron, vitamin B12, and zinc due to the meat filling. They also contain vitamin C from the yuca.


Carimañolas contain gluten from the yuca and may also contain allergens such as soy and dairy depending on the filling ingredients used.


Carimañolas are a delicious and filling snack that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals.


Carimañolas are a delicious and traditional Colombian dish made with yuca and filled with a savory meat mixture. These crispy snacks are perfect for any occasion and are sure to be a hit with family and friends.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still recall the sense of amazement I felt when I first saw this recipe for Carimañolas. It was many years ago, during a visit to my friend Maria's house in Colombia. Maria was known for her incredible cooking skills, and I was always eager to learn new recipes from her.

As soon as I walked into her kitchen, I could smell the delicious aroma of spices and herbs wafting through the air. Maria greeted me with a warm smile and handed me a cup of freshly brewed coffee. As we sat down at the kitchen table, she pulled out a worn, stained piece of paper from a drawer and placed it in front of me.

"This," she said, pointing to the paper, "is the recipe for Carimañolas. It's a traditional Colombian dish that is beloved by many. Would you like to learn how to make it?"

I nodded eagerly, my curiosity piqued. Maria began to explain the ingredients and steps involved in making Carimañolas. The dish consisted of mashed yuca mixed with ground meat and spices, shaped into balls, and then deep-fried until crispy and golden brown.

As Maria demonstrated the process, I watched in awe as she expertly formed the yuca mixture into perfect spheres, her hands moving with precision and skill. The aroma of sizzling oil filled the kitchen, making my stomach growl with anticipation.

After the Carimañolas were cooked to perfection, Maria plated them on a serving tray and garnished them with a drizzle of homemade salsa. She handed me a piping hot Carimañola and urged me to take a bite.

The first taste was a revelation. The exterior was crispy and crunchy, giving way to a creamy, flavorful filling that burst with savory goodness. I closed my eyes and savored the delicious blend of textures and flavors, feeling like I had discovered a hidden treasure.

From that moment on, Carimañolas became one of my favorite dishes to make. I practiced the recipe diligently, experimenting with different variations and techniques to perfect my own version of this traditional Colombian delicacy.

Over the years, I have shared my love for Carimañolas with friends and family, passing down the recipe and the story of how I learned to make it from Maria. Each time I make Carimañolas, I am transported back to that kitchen in Colombia, where the scent of spices and the warmth of friendship lingered in the air.

As I sit here now, surrounded by my collection of recipes from around the world, I am grateful for the memories and experiences that have shaped my passion for cooking. And whenever I make Carimañolas, I am reminded of the joy of discovery and the power of sharing food with others.


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