Cuban papas rellenas (Potato balls)

    3 hours 45 min

    This classic snack can be purchased with espresso on every little Havana street corner and for a great reason; they are delicious and portable.


    Bedfordshire, England, UK
    2 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 4 large potatoes, peeled
    • 1 tablespoon warm milk
    • salt, to taste
    • 450g picadillo
    • 125g manioc or cassava flour
    • 110g breadcrumbs
    • 2 eggs, beaten with a bit of water
    • oil, as needed for cooking

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:3hr chilling  ›  Ready in:3hr45min 

    1. Boil potatoes, drain well and mash with milk. Season with salt to taste. Place a handful of mash in one palm and create an indentation while forming into a bowl or basket shape in the palm of your hand. Carefully place one spoonful of picadillo into the indentation or 'basket'. Cover the basket with a dollop of mashed potato and roll gently in the palm until ball shaped.
    2. Mix the flour and breadcrumbs together on a flat surface.
    3. Dip a potato ball into the beaten eggs, then into the flour mixture until coated. Repeat the entire procedure for crispy coated papas rellenas. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
    4. Fry in at least 1/2 the depth of the ball in oil at about 190 degrees C until golden and then flip to finish off the other side. Remove from the oil, blot with kitchen paper and serve.


    This is a great picnic food that although fried, does not taste greasy. The crispy coating reveals a delicate savoury snack.
    If manioc/cassava flour is not available, you can substitute with plain flour.
    Picadillo is Cuban seasoned beef with Goya Sazonador.

    See it on my blog

    Margarita's Cuban cuisine

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