Yapingachos (LLapingachos or Ecuadorian Potatoe Cakes)

by Sue
(New York)

Moderation - they are delicious!

Moderation - they are delicious!


Makes 6 portions

4 pounds white potatoes
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons achiote oil
1 egg yolk
1 cup shredded white cheese (queso fresco (fromage frais), farmer's cheese, or mozzarella
4 green onions, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Peanut sauce (see recipe below)


Peel the potatoes and add them to a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook until tender when pierced with a fork.

While the potatoes are cooking, sauté the onion in the oil until soft. Set aside to cool.

Whip the boiled potatoes in a standing mixer or mashed them.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. (If using paprika instead of achiote oil, mix the paprika in with the mashed potatoes).

Mix the cooked onions and the egg yolk in with potatoes. Chill potato mixture for at least two hours, or overnight.

Mix the grated cheese with the minced green onions.

Shape the mashed potato mixture into balls slightly larger than a golf ball. Make a large hole with your finger in the middle, and press about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the hole. Close the mashed potato mixture over the cheese center, and then gently pat the ball into a pancake about a half inch thick. Chill the pancakes for 30 minutes.

Heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet. Fry the pancakes in batches, about 3 minutes on each side.

Keep pancakes warm in a 200- degree oven until ready to serve. Serve with peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce Ingredients

1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika


Place the sliced onion and the milk in a pot. Bring milk to a simmer, and simmer gently, cover, for 10 to 15 minutes to infuse the milk with the flavor of the onion.

Remove from heat and strain to remove onion. Return milk to pot and stir in the peanut butter. Bring to boil and cook, stirring, until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Season with hot pepper oil if desired.

Note: Don't overdo these as they are quite rich, but healthy if you just have them as a snack an can be served up with lots of fresh salad.

(Source: Montañita Spanish School newsletter)

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