What is a yaniqueque, and where did it come from?
You know what? there seems to be a lot of theories and quite the disagreement. One popular theory is that it came from the British West Indies and it is a corruption of the name Johnny Cakes, a dish with which it shares very little in common.
Other equally argued-for theories exists. But I am not a food historian and I am confortable accepting that the answers to these questions are not quite vital.
There are also several variations of the same dish throughout the island, to further complicate things. This is the yaniqueque as I know it.
These delicious, crunchy, flaky, deep-fried fast food wonders are a must-have on a visit to Boca Chica, the popular Dominican beach.
Street food and beach fare. You can find large yaniqueques (or yanikekes) sold as snacks, small ones to serve with cocoa.
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- Cold water
- 2 cups of oil (for frying)
- Mix the baking soda, a teaspoon of salt and the flour.
- Pour 16 tablespoons of cold water in the flour.
- Mix everything with your hands on a lightly floured surface until everything is well mixed, don't knead the dough (add some flour if it is too sticky or water if it is too dry).
- Let dough rest for ten minutes covered in plastic film.
- Extend with a rolling pin on a lightly oiled surface until it is very thin.
- Cut into circles and punch holes in them with a fork. If the circles are a bit misshapen don't worry, that's how they look when you buy from street vendors.
- Fry in hot oil until it turns golden brown.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and leave on a paper towel for a minute before serving.
Yaniqueques come in all sizes, from the LPs (those were some big disks which were popular before cassettes and CDs, for you whippersnappers) to little ones served with chocolate de agua for breakfast. Make yours in whichever size you like. I prever mine about 5" in diameter as they are easier to handle.