Bollitos de Harina (Boiled Cornmeal Rolls)

Bollitos de harina (boiled flour rolls)

This past week one half of our family gathered at a local resort as we do almost every year. It is a time for relaxation, catching up, and on the practical side of things getting everybody together under the same roof, so to speak. We hope some day we’ll have a home large enough to accommodate our whole family  without having to resort (pun intended) to what I called on my Facebook wall “my personal hell”.

That comment sparked a very funny exchange and on Twitter some baffled and some not so sympathetic replies.

Bollitos de harina (boiled flour rolls)

So instead of shutting up now while I am still ahead I will dig in my heels and claim that yes, I do dislike resorts. In fact I am no fan of hotels in general. This opinion will probably not make me the most popular person where I live, the quintessential resort area. I will take my chances.

The thing is, hotels bore me almost half to death.

I love travelling, and accept that hotels are vital to the experience, but to me they are simply a safe place to return to at the end of a day of discovery and excitement. A whole vacation of unlimited drink and food, and toasting my skin nearer to a melanoma is not my definition of fun (hey, I already have a built-in tan!). You are entirely free to disagree.

A life of leisure?

What don’t I like about resorts? The environmental impact, the waste, the isolation, the impersonal and industrial feeling of it all. Give me a road and I will end up in some cabañas by the beach and some mom’n’pop restaurant in a town somewhere. Give me a vacation of discovery, people, places, something most resort tourists don’t get to experience. If you don’t speak the language can you even tell in what country you are? Does it even matter?

Certainly not to the drunken sap who spent his days by the poolside bar, and carried away to his room each evening by the staff.

I decided to make the most of it and worked every day. It’s the advantage of my job. I got some writing done and with a lovely view I must say. That is until a couple of duffers tried to assassinate me with a golf ball. I quickly moved my business inside.

Bollitos de harina (boiled flour rolls)

So my dear friend. Come visit us, we really love visitors. Really, we do. We are friendly, it’s in our nature. And please do get out, know the country a bit. We have so much to offer.

But if you are just interested in killing your brain cells with our most excellent rum, or toasting your skin to a crispy melanoma under our clear blue skies, then by all means, don’t step out of the resort. At least the food is good.

Buen provecho!

Tía Clara

Bollitos de Harina (Boiled Cornmeal Rolls)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Craving some "poor man's food"? Bollitos de Harina (Boiled Cornmeal Rolls) can be served as a side dish or as part of our beloved sancocho.
Serves: 6 porciones
  • 1½ cups of medium grain corn meal
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of water (more for adding to the broth)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (or vegetable oil).
  • 2 qt [2 lt] of vegetable or chicken broth salted to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of oil for broth
  1. Mix cornmeal, flour, water, sugar, salt and butter. Mix well with a spatula. Take two tablespoons of the mix and form into rolls, squeezing to compress them. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  2. Heat broth until it breaks into a rolling boil. Pour in oil and lower the heat to medium. Using a slotted spoon, place the rolls gently into the broth one by one.
  3. Cook for 35 minutes or until well cooked inside (if you are going to use them for sancocho, skip this step and just add them uncooked to the preparation at the point in which you add the plantains). Add water as needed to maintain the same level.
  4. Serve hot with pollo guisado or arenque guisado.

If you want a gluten-free version use more cornmeal in lieu of the flour (for a total of 2 cups of cornmeal). This may require a longer cooking time.

For a vegan dish use vegetable oil in lieu of butter.

Originally posted Jan. 2005

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{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Juana Diaz August 30, 2014, 10:58 PM

    Juana August 31, 2014

    We call it bollo de Maiz en la Republica Dominicana I love them my husband is from Colombia and he just love them so much that I make them all the time,

  • Malena December 11, 2012, 11:59 AM

    I’ve never had these but they remind me a little of sorullos de maiz (I’m Puerto Rican) but ours are fried, not boiled. In our sancochos we sometimes put bolitas de platano verde instead of your bollitos, but I will certainly make a Dominican style sancocho with bollitos very, very soon. Me encanta este blog, yo sabía muy poco de la comida dominicana hasta que empecé a leerlo. Se parece muchísimo a la de PR. Oh, and I absolutely agree with you on the resort thing. The only time I’ve been to the DR I stayed at a hotel in Santo Domingo but thankfully it wasn’t a resort-type of vacation. We got to see the country (well, a bit of it anyway), not just lie on the beach.

  • Keeli August 14, 2012, 8:04 AM

    My family and I have been living in the DR for 6 months. I’ve fallen in love with your blog and all the recipes. I just have to give you a big thumbs up in this article for describing perfectly how we feel about resorts. There’s oh so much more to love in the Dominican Republic!

    • Aunt Clara August 14, 2012, 8:18 AM

      Welcome to the DR, Keeli. :) And thanks for the nice words, I hope you stick around.

  • Sagrario February 23, 2012, 12:44 PM

    Clara it´s true what Richard said, that was the way my Grandma used to cook it. She also added grated coconut and coconut milk, and that was ¡great!!!

  • Yadsia @ShopCookMake February 23, 2012, 9:59 AM

    Que bello ese lugar!

  • Arie Rich February 22, 2012, 11:56 AM

    OMG, I haven't had these in a while. I am definitely going to make some this week. Thanks for this post.

    Arie Rich

  • RichardR February 22, 2012, 9:01 AM

    I love this dish so much :-), but i never attempted to make it as my mother always made it for me. I love the taste of it with bacalao en cebolla. My mother does not use flour instead she uses maizena which is a really fine corn meal. one thing I always find hard about this dish is that even when my mother makes then somethings i comes out hard and sometimes it comes out perfect. Another trick you might want to try is take a chop stick and drive it through the center the long way this give it some space for the boiling water to get in there and cook the middle as well.

    • Aunt Clara February 22, 2012, 9:22 AM

      Richard I will have to try your mom's version with cornstarch as a gluten-free alternative. Thanks for the tip.

  • JudithNYX April 16, 2011, 12:55 PM

    Gracias! I wanted to replicate the bollitos my Dominican friend used to make for me but my first attempt resulted in cornmeal soup. (I was not using your recipe.) So today I decided to look for a recipe and have discovered this treasure. I envision a lot of Dominican food in this month's dinners.