Authentic Carimañolas III Recipe from Panama | Ingredients & Instructions

Carimañolas III

Authentic Carimañolas III Recipe from Panama | Ingredients & Instructions
Region / culture: Panama | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 8


Carimañolas III
Carimañolas III

Carimañolas are a popular Colombian dish made with yucca root and filled with a savory meat mixture. These deep-fried snacks are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, making them a delicious treat for any occasion.


Carimañolas are believed to have originated in the Caribbean region of Colombia, where yucca root is a staple ingredient in many dishes. The name "carimañola" is thought to come from the indigenous Kuna language, meaning "bread of yucca."


How to prepare

  1. In a saucepan or stock pot, cover yucca with water, add 1 tsp salt, and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onions and chiles until onions are translucent.
  4. Add ground beef and brown, breaking up as finely as possible.
  5. Add cumin, thyme, garlic, and tomato sauce.
  6. Simmer, stirring frequently, until filling is very thick.
  7. Add salt to taste, remove from heat, and cool to room temperature.
  8. Drain yucca well and mash thoroughly with butter, using a potato masher or mixer.
  9. Beat 2 egg yolks until smooth.
  10. Add egg yolks to the yucca and beat in thoroughly.
  11. Cool to room temperature.
  12. Roll a portion (about 0.5 cup) of the mixture into a ball (note: if the dough is too soft to handle, a small amount of flour may be added).
  13. With the flat of your thumb, make a deep indentation in the ball.
  14. Place 1 rounded teaspoon of the filling in the indentation.
  15. Work the dough back around the filling, ensuring that the filling is completely covered and centered in the now elongated ball.
  16. Beat the 2 remaining egg whites and the 2 whole eggs together until smooth.
  17. Roll the caramiñolas in flour, dip in the beaten eggs, and roll in bread crumbs to coat completely (if desired, otherwise just dust lightly with flour).
  18. Deep fry in hot oil (380 – 390°F (199°C)), 2 or 3 at a time, until golden brown.
  19. Drain on paper towels.
  20. Serve either warm or at room temperature.


  • Try using ground chicken or turkey instead of beef for a lighter option.
  • Add chopped bell peppers or olives to the filling for extra flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to thoroughly drain and mash the yucca to ensure a smooth dough.

- Be careful when deep frying the carimañolas, as the oil can splatter.

- You can customize the filling with your favorite ingredients, such as cheese or vegetables.

Serving Suggestions

Carimañolas can be served as an appetizer, snack, or even a main dish with a side salad or rice.

Cooking Techniques

Deep frying is the traditional method for cooking carimañolas, but you can also bake them in the oven for a healthier alternative.

Ingredient Substitutions

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

- You can use any type of ground meat or even vegetarian crumbles for the filling.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the carimañolas ahead of time and freeze them before frying. Simply thaw and fry when ready to serve.

Presentation Ideas

Serve carimañolas on a platter with a side of salsa or avocado sauce for dipping.

Pairing Recommendations

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

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover carimañolas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or toaster oven until crispy and heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of carimañolas is approximately 300 calories, depending on the size and frying method.


Carimañolas are a carbohydrate-rich dish due to the yucca root and flour used in the recipe.


The fats in carimañolas come from the butter used in the dough and the oil used for deep frying.


The protein in carimañolas comes from the lean ground beef used in the filling.

Vitamins and minerals

Yucca root is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and manganese, which are essential nutrients for overall health.


Carimañolas contain eggs, wheat (flour), and potentially dairy (butter), so they may not be suitable for those with allergies to these ingredients.


Carimañolas are a flavorful and satisfying snack that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. They are best enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


Carimañolas are a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a snack or meal. With a crispy exterior and savory filling, they are sure to be a hit at your next gathering.

How did I get this recipe?

I have a clear memory of the first time I saw this recipe for Carimañolas III. It was a scorching hot day in the small village where I grew up in Colombia. I was just a young girl, eager to learn the art of cooking from my abuela, my grandmother.

Abuela was a culinary genius. She could turn the simplest ingredients into the most delicious dishes. Her kitchen was always bustling with activity, the smell of aromatic spices wafting through the air. I would spend hours by her side, watching her chop, mix, and stir with a sense of awe and admiration.

One day, as I sat at the kitchen table shelling peas, Abuela pulled out a tattered old cookbook from the shelf. It was filled with handwritten notes and splattered with stains from years of use. She flipped through the pages until she came across a recipe for Carimañolas III.

"Carimañolas are a traditional Colombian dish made with yuca and meat," Abuela explained, her eyes twinkling with excitement. "But this recipe, Carimañolas III, is a special version that I learned from a dear friend many years ago."

As she read through the ingredients and instructions, I could see the passion and love she had for this dish. I could feel her connection to the recipe, her memories intertwined with each step of the cooking process. I knew then and there that I had to learn how to make it.

Over the next few weeks, Abuela patiently taught me the art of making Carimañolas III. We started by peeling and grating the yuca, a laborious task that required patience and precision. We mixed the grated yuca with seasoned ground meat, forming small oval-shaped patties that would later be fried to golden perfection.

As we worked side by side in the kitchen, Abuela shared stories of her childhood, of the women in her family who had passed down recipes through generations. She spoke of the importance of preserving our culinary heritage, of honoring the traditions that connect us to our roots.

Finally, the moment of truth arrived. We heated up a large skillet filled with oil and carefully placed the Carimañolas into the hot oil, the sizzle and crackle music to our ears. The aroma that filled the kitchen was intoxicating, a tantalizing blend of spices and flavors that made my mouth water.

After a few minutes, we carefully turned the Carimañolas over, watching as they browned and crisped up beautifully. Abuela's eyes sparkled with pride as she declared them ready to be served. We plated them with a side of tangy ají sauce and sat down to enjoy our creation.

The first bite was pure bliss. The crispy exterior gave way to a soft, flavorful center that melted in my mouth. The combination of yuca and meat was a match made in culinary heaven, a symphony of textures and tastes that danced on my taste buds.

As I savored each bite, I felt a deep sense of gratitude towards Abuela. Not only had she taught me how to make Carimañolas III, but she had also imparted valuable lessons about the importance of tradition, family, and love in the kitchen. I knew that this recipe would become a cherished part of my own culinary repertoire, a link to my past and a gift to pass on to future generations.

And so, every time I make Carimañolas III, I am transported back to that hot summer day in Abuela's kitchen, the scent of spices and love lingering in the air. I am reminded of the bond we shared, the memories we created, and the legacy of culinary excellence that she passed down to me. And as I take a bite of those crispy, delicious Carimañolas, I know that her spirit lives on in every savory mouthful.


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