Bollitos de Yuca (Cheese-Filled Cassava Balls)

Bollitos de yuca (Cheese-filled cassava balls)

Locavores are those who are part of a global movement that proposes the consumption of locally-grown food. It’s a movement fueled by concerns about the environment and the nutritional quality of food that has travelled from afar, and subjected to diverse methods of preservation.

As with anything, there are several sides to this argument.

Bollitos de yuca (Cheese-filled cassava balls)

As with any non-centralized movement, there is no “official” definition of what makes a person a locavore, or what “local” means. A common definition is that local food is produced within 100 miles of the consumer. How feasible following this rules is depends on where the consumer is. It is much easier to eat local when one lives in an area with a mild climate, as opposed to a region with a more unforgiving climate.

So, why eat local?

Bollitos de yuca (Cheese-filled cassava balls)

Reason no. 1 is, as I mentioned above, because eating local reduces the stress on the environment by eliminating or reducing the need for transportation, refrigeration and preservation, which means a much smaller carbon footprint. Another advantage is that fresh food is almost always more nutritious and better-tasting than refrigerated, or preserved food. A third reason why eating local is a good idea, although not the main reason for which many do it, is that local food is generally more inexpensive than “exotic” foods.

So, is there any downside to this?

Bollitos de yuca (Cheese-filled cassava balls)

There is (some claim), but for me the advantages of a largely local diet outweigh the disadvantages, in most cases. I think we should strive to eat as much as possible from local sources. This is possible in the DR, as our traditional diet largely consists of foods grown locally, and we even grow foods that do not normally grow in the tropics. I am also a huge fan of homemade options for industrial foods and ingredients (see our growing collection of recipes for seasonings and condiments), and growing at least some of my own food.

I must admit to consuming foods that travel from afar from time to time, but the vast majority of our food comes from our own country (although not necessarily from within the 100 mile radius).

How about you start choosing as much of your food grown locally as you can? It’s good for you, it’s good for your pocket, it’s good for the environment.

Aunt Clara
Bollitos de Yuca (Cheese-Filled Cassava Balls) Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Learn how to make these Dominican Bollitos de yuca (Cheese-Filled Cassava Balls), crispy outside, soft and cheesy inside. A sure hit with your guests.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 lb. of cassava (yuca)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ lb of cheddar, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon of curly parsley, finely chopped
  • Sufficient oil for deep frying (a minimun of 3 cups)
  • ¼ cup of flour
  • Salt
  1. Peel and boil the cassava until it is tender, adding a tablespoon of salt to the water.
  2. Take out of the water and puree.
  3. Add the butter, parsley and milk and mix well.
  4. Season with salt to taste and let cool down to room temperature.
  5. Put two tablespoonfuls of the mixture in the palm of your hand. Flatten it, put a cheese cube in the center and roll around it into a ball.
  6. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Whisk the egg. Dipp the balls into the egg, then into the flour. Coat it with flour and shake off the excess.
  8. Chill uncovered for 2-4 hours (you can keep them frozen in a lidded container for a couple of days).
  9. Fry in very hot oil over medium heat until they are golden brown.
  10. Place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  11. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 balls
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{ 30 comments… add one }

  • Mariela June 18, 2015, 3:10 PM

    Will these work with the frozen yuca sold in supermarkets?

  • belma March 21, 2015, 11:31 AM

    I have never ever made it tasted Dominican food and have tried to make these as part of world food day that my partner and I do every month! But they were so sticky, I couldn’t roll them out easily and had to add a lot of flour to even get them to roll! I’m not sure what they will taste like, but what did I do wrong?

    • Aunt Clara March 23, 2015, 9:34 PM

      It could be a bad batch of cassava, or you may have left it in the water after boiling and it absorbed too much water. The are supposed to be a little sticky, but not too much.

  • Emilia December 11, 2014, 7:39 AM

    What cheese can i Use for the yuca Balls? IT is very Hard in Europa to find some fruits and vegetables from DR i am from Dr and i live our food but if i want to cook something i can’t find the ingredients in any Supermarkt or any Shop

  • bruni November 10, 2014, 3:03 AM

    Me encanta voy a tratar de hacerlas esta semana. Gracias

  • Estefani November 9, 2014, 11:32 PM

    Making them now my Dominican husband will love them as will I!!! This 2-4 hour wait though is hard :) 10 mins left ;))

  • Estefani November 9, 2014, 8:35 PM

    Hi! Any update on baked options for this recipe?

  • raquel gras November 8, 2014, 6:40 PM

    can you use any other type of flour? Like almond, coconut, etc.

    • Aunt Clara November 12, 2014, 7:18 PM

      Possibly, but I haven’t tested it. Maybe a little experimenting is in your future. 😀

  • Jenny January 1, 2014, 7:36 PM

    Hola Tia Clara,
    IF I wanted to make this recipe to serve about 20 people…. how much would I increase each ingredient by. Gracias.

    • Aunt Clara January 2, 2014, 1:32 PM

      I don’t have the recipe for that many people, but you can multiply the ingredients by three (it will serve 18) or 4 (will serve 24).

  • luisa October 19, 2013, 4:28 PM

    I will love to receive your e-mails with your lovely recipes

  • Carisbel October 3, 2013, 9:17 PM

    Just wondering, is it absolutely necessary to chill them for two hours? If so, why? I don’t think I have the patience. lol

    • Aunt Clara October 5, 2013, 12:35 PM

      Yes, otherwise they will break in the oil, in my experience.

  • Lourdes Macias January 30, 2013, 11:45 AM

    Can I bakes instead of frie?

    • Lourdes Macias January 30, 2013, 11:46 AM

      just read someones post and saw your answer please disregard.

  • aamelia January 18, 2013, 8:32 PM

    me encanta este site, estuve por anios buscando la receta de las catibias y aqui la encontre asi como los bollitos de yucca. gracias

  • Hollyanne January 12, 2013, 10:26 AM

    Looks delicious! I’ve traveled twice to the DR and really enjoyed eating and cooking with yucca, but not sure if I’d be able to find it in the US! Definitely going to check around, though!

    • Aunt Clara January 12, 2013, 12:32 PM

      You should start with Latino and Asian markets. In Europe, at least, I found “yuca” in Thai and Chinese stores.

  • Ladys November 20, 2012, 5:45 PM

    Have you tried baking these instead of frying? do you think baking would be a good option for healthier version?

    • Aunt Clara November 20, 2012, 7:04 PM

      Not with this recipe. I might try to create a new one for baked balls in the future. Check in the Party Food section for some baked party dishes.

  • Eva November 12, 2012, 3:32 PM

    Hola Tia Clara.

    Believe me, I am an avid supporter of good, local food and I would. mostly any day, rather eat something in season than something that has to be preserved in order to travel the only-god-knows how many miles to make it here.

    However, I say mostly, because I am a Dominican living in Ithaca, NY which is a town that I love but unfortunately doesn’t grow many of the fruits and legumes and roots that I grew up eating in DR.

    How can I not crave a sancocho on a rainy day or my dear guandules con coco on any day! Sadly, in order for me to make those and all of my other dominican dishes, I need to get in my car and drive to Wegmans and go to the “exotic” veggie isle and get the things I need.

    It is an endless battle I fight everyday…how to resolve the conflict?

    Sad Eva :(

    • Aunt Clara November 15, 2012, 12:41 PM

      Well, the thing is, you don’t have to feel deprived. I believe it’s OK to sometimes indulge in what makes us happy (within reason). You can make up for it in other ways.

  • Lindsay November 11, 2012, 2:10 PM

    Have just made these. The yuca mixture was a little sticky so a bit hard to roll into balls, but once they had been dipped in the flour and egg it was easier to make them ball shaped.

    They were absolutely delicious once fried golden brown and will definitely be cooking them again. Chivirico is now off selling them around the barrio!

  • Suzanne Perazzini November 5, 2012, 8:58 PM

    I love that secret pocket of cheese and the balls are so round and smooth.
    Talking of eating local, recently when I was in Italy on holiday, I bought kiwi fruit (the only ones available) that came from New Zealand (my country). They looked so much better than the ones at home. I think the best are exported and we get the leftovers. What’s that all about?

    • Aunt Clara November 14, 2012, 9:02 AM

      Not so strange. I have heard the same complaint from exporting countries about several products. I will ask my husband if he tried kiwi in NZ. :)

  • leaf (the indolent cook) November 5, 2012, 6:52 PM

    That looks dangerously good… the cheese! So melty, so orange!