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Frituras de Malanga (Malanga Fritters)

Frituras de Malanga (Malanga Fritters)

Frituras de malanga, or malanga fritters are grated malanga combined with egg and flavored with parsley, garlic, salt and vinegar. They’re crispy on the outside, tender and mild on the inside.

 

In Cuban cuisine, frituras de malanga are served as an appetizer or snack.

A malanga fritter cut in half, the inside being displayed held by a fork.

 

What is a Malanga?

Malanga is a brown, hairy tuber that has a white, inside. It is cultivated in many tropical regions and often used in Caribbean and South American cuisine.

 

Malanga has an earthy taste with a texture similar to a potato. It’s prepared pretty much the same way. In Cuban cuisine, malanga is used in stews, soups, mashed, grated and fried, or boiled and topped with a drizzle of olive oil or butter.

 

Can Malanga be eaten raw?

Malanga must be cooked before consuming. Popular preparations include boiling and frying.

 

Is Malanga the same as taro?

Malanga is similar to taro, they are from the same family, however they belong to different genus groups. Malanga belongs to the genus Xanthosoma and taro belongs to the genus Colocasia.

 

How can you tell malanga and taro apart?

The skin on malanga is brown and has a wiry, shaggy texture. Taro is also brown, but lighter in color and the skin is a bit smoother, less bristly. Taro also has a bulb like shape, while the malanga is long and tapers at one end.

 

On the inside: The flesh of the malanga is white, almost bright white. Taro’s flesh can vary between white, cream colored with purple flecks.

 

To make the malanga fritters you will need

1 pound Malanga, peeled, rinsed and grated

1 Egg

1 tablespoon Chopped Parsley

1 small Garlic Clove, grated or finely minced

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar (or white vinegar)

3 cups Canola Oil for frying, or enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet by ½ inch

Cook’s Note: The amount of oil will depend on the size of the pan you’re using. Use enough to cover the bottom of the skillet/pan by at least ½ inch.

 

You will also need

Large, deep, non-stick skillet or pan

Box grater

1 tablespoon scoop (or a tablespoon)

Sheet pan or large platter

Paper towels

 

Peel the Malanga

Unlike a potato, peeling a malanga can be a little tricky. The wiry, thick exterior doesn’t work well with a peeler.

 

The white flesh of malanga is very slippery too, take care when handling. Use a paper or kitchen towel to help you get a good grip if needed.

 

The best way to peel a malanga is like you would peel a pumpkin or butternut squash.

  • First, cut the ends off, then cut it into two or three pieces (depending on its size).
  • Next, stand the Malanga on the widest part. Cut off thin slices working all the way around until the peel is gone.
  • Keep the peeled malanga in a bowl of cold water (just like you would with a peeled potato) to slow the browning process. Rinse the malanga with fresh cold water once you’re all done and pat dry.

A collage of four images showing how to peel a malanga.

 

Remember to keep the pieces large but manageable. We are going to use a box grater to grate the malanga so we want the pieces large enough to hold safely.

 

Shred the malanga

Shred the malanga using a box grater. Use the medium grating holes instead of the large ones.

A collage of four pictures showing how to shred malanga including a box shredder and the shredded malanga.

 

Malanga is very slippery, take care while shredding. I always sacrifice a little piece on the end just to be safe.

 

When all the malanga is shredded, add it to a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

 

Prep remaining ingredients

The rest of the prep for these delicious fritters is a snap.

 

Use a small zester (microplane) to grate the garlic. If you don’t have a zester finely mince the garlic. Choose a small clove of garlic. Malanga has a delicate flavor and too much garlic will overpower.

 

Finely chop the parsley. That’s it for the prep work. The only thing left is measuring out the rest of the ingredients.

 

Make the malanga mixture

Add the egg, chopped parsley, grated garlic, salt and vinegar to a small bowl. Beat the ingredients well until they are combined.

 

Add the egg mixture to the grated malanga and stir with a fork until the ingredients are combined. The fritter mixture will have a soft, doughy consistency.

A collage showing two images, one is the egg mixture being added to shredded malanga and the second is the combined malanga mixture.

 

Cover the malanga mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (15-20 minutes should do it). Give the mixture a good stir before using.

 

Fry the frituras de malanga

  • Before you start frying, line a baking sheet or a large platter with paper towels to place the fritters after frying.
  • Add enough oil to a large, deep skillet to cover the bottom by at least ½ inch of oil. For our skillet we used 3 cups of oil.
  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat. We want to get the oil to around 325°F to 350°F before dropping the fritter mixture.
  • Make sure the oil is not too hot or the fritters will brown quickly on the outside and won’t cook on the inside. Do a test piece, the mixture should: stay together, sizzle on the edges and float.
  • Use a small scoop to drop the fritters by the tablespoon into the hot oil. If you don’t have a scoop, use a tablespoon.
  • Only add a few at a time, don’t overcrowd the skillet. We added six fritters at a time into a 12 inch skillet.
  • Cook the fritters for 2-3 minutes total, flipping them every 30 seconds or so until they are golden brown on both sides. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to flip them. The easiest way to flip is to use the side of the skillet for leverage.

A collage of four pictures showing malanga fritters frying.

 

Take the skillet off the heat and remove the fritters using a slotted spoon. Place them on the paper lined sheet pan.

Malanga fritters being placed by a slotted spoon on a paper towel lined pan to drain.

 

Cook’s note: We want to take the skillet off the heat in between batches so that the oil does not continue rising in temperature while we get ready for the next batch.

 

Repeat the instructions above with the remaining malanga mixture until it’s all used up.

 

Makes about 18 malanga fritters

Malanga fritters displayed on a white platter.

 

If you want to add a little more malanga to your life, try one of these recipes

Crema de Malanga – It’s a creamy soup where malanga is the star.

Pure de Malanga – Similar to mashed potatoes but with an earthy taste.

Cuban Ajiaco – if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, then try this ajiaco soup. Malanga is one of the many tropical vegetables that go into this amazing soup.

 

Malanga Fritters displayed on a white platter.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Frituras de Malanga (Malanga Fritters)

Frituras de malanga, or malanga fritters are grated malanga combined with egg and flavored with parsley, garlic, salt and vinegar.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Chill the malanga mixture15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: malanga, root vegetable
Servings: 4
Calories: 251kcal
Author: Elizabeth

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Malanga peeled, rinsed, patted dry and grated
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Finely Chopped Parsley
  • 1 small Garlic Clove grated or finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar or white vinegar
  • 3 cups Canola Oil for frying or enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet by ½ inch

Instructions

  • You will also need: large, deep, non-stick skillet or pan, box grater, 1 tablespoon scoop (or a tablespoon), sheet pan or large platter, paper towels

Prep work

  • Shred the malanga using a box grater. Use the medium grating holes instead of the large ones.
  • Add the shredded malanga to a bowl. Cover, and refrigerate while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

Make the malanga fritter mixture

  • Add the egg, chopped parsley, grated garlic, salt and vinegar to a small bowl. Beat the ingredients well until they are combined.
  • Add the egg mixture to the grated malanga and stir with a fork until the ingredients are combined. The fritter mixture will have a soft, doughy consistency.
  • Cover the malanga mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled (15-20 minutes). Give the mixture a good stir before using.

Fry the malanga fritters

  • Before you start frying, line a baking sheet or a large platter with paper towels to place the fritters after frying.
  • Add enough oil to a large, deep skillet to cover the bottom by at least ½ inch of oil.
  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Get the oil to around 325°F to 350°F before dropping the fritter mixture.
  • Use a small scoop to drop the fritters by the tablespoon into the hot oil. Only add a few at a time, don’t overcrowd the skillet.
  • Cook the fritters for 2-3 minutes total, flipping them every 30 seconds or so until they are golden brown on both sides. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to flip them.
  • Take the skillet off the heat and remove the fritters using a slotted spoon. Place them on the paper lined sheet pan.
  • Repeat the instructions above with the remaining malanga mixture until it’s all used up.

Video

Notes

The amount of oil to use will depend on the size of the pan you are using. Use enough to cover the bottom of the skillet/pan by at least ½ inch.
The white flesh of malanga is very slippery, take care when handling. Use a paper or kitchen towel to help you get a good grip if needed.
Make sure the oil is not too hot or the fritters will brown quickly on the outside and won’t cook on the inside. Do a test piece, the mixture should: stay together, sizzle on the edges and float.
Take the skillet off the heat between batches so that the oil does not continue rising in temperature.

Nutrition

Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 609mg | Potassium: 440mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 144IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.


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