Frituras de Malanga

fried malangaMalanga, or taro root, has very little flavor and is very light and crisp when fried. This is how Tanya at the Patronato taught me to make them. Why not try them this year for Hanukkah?


 2 medium malanga, about 1 pound

1 small onion

1 teaspoon white or apple cider vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 egg

1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley (optional in Cuba but a nice addition)

Freshly ground black pepper (optional in Cuba but a nice addition)

Vegetable oil for frying

  1.  Peel the malanga. Grate the malanga using the finest grating disk on your processor. Grate the onion in the same way. Replace the grating disk with the steel blade and pulse on about 20 times until the pieces of food are quite small but not a mush. Transfer to a bowl.   ALTERNATIVELY grate the malanga and onion on the fine side of a grater and place in a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the oil and mix well.
  3.  Heat about 1 inch of oil in a frying pan or deep frying until very hot, about 375F.
  4.  Drop the mixture by teaspoon into the hot oil. Fry until golden on each side.
  5.  Drain on paper towel.
  6.  Serve immediately with Mojo sauce or sour cream and apple sauce or purchased salsa.

Sour orange juice is a common ingredient in Cuba confirming its roots in Spanish and possibly Jewish cooking. The ubiquitous orange trees in Andalusia are not the sweet variety that we associate with Valencia, and these oranges must have been brought to this region with the Spanish Conquistadores.


1/4 cup olive oil

6 large cloves garlic, finely minced

½ cup sour orange juice or ¼ cup orange juice and ¼ cup lime juice

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1.  Heat a 1 quart saucepan for 15 seconds. Add the olive oil and heat for 10 seconds over medium heat.
  2.  Add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds or until it just starts to get lightly golden.. Do NOT let the garlic brown or the sauce will become bitter.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients; be careful, sauce may steam, and bring to a rolling boil. Cook for three minutes. Remove from heat, adjust seasonings if necessary and chill until ready to serve with the fritters or on top of vegetables, meats or fish.
  4. Tina’s Tidbits:
  • The addition of a small amount of vinegar prevents the fried food from absorbing excess oil
  •  For a crispy coating, use this batter on floured fish before frying.
  •  Garlic should never be allowed to brown as it becomes very bitter.
  •  Crumble paper towels to have more surface area to absorb oil from fried foods.



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