These Arañitas and Arepitas de Yuca (Cassava Fritters) are very crispy and infused with the amazing taste of aromatic aniseed. One of our favorites recipes!
If you've read our books or browsed through our recipes in this blog, you'll notice that we often credit the person who gave us the idea, first told us about it, or even gave us a recipe. They can be a friend, a reader, a friend's grandmother, or a stranger we gave a ride home in an isolated part of the country. This is the case with these arañitas and arepitas de yuca (cassava fritters).
While it's impossible for a Dominican to know each and every one of the dishes of our culinary heritage, collectively, we can put them together. I'm lucky to have met, online and in real life, so many people who have taught me so much.
Arepitas vs. arañitas de yuca
The difference between these two side dishes is what side of the grater you use. The arañitas should have lots of fried yuca threads sticking out in all directions, thus the "spidery" look!
Cassava arepas and arañitas are a treat for every special meal. You can serve them as a side dish or as 'munchies'. The combination of salt, sugar, and the aromatic flavors of aniseed in a crispy, gently sweet, and savory fritter will make your eyes pop.
It's amazing what a slight change in the process can yield.
About this recipe
This is not to say that these recipes that were passed on to us were copied verbatim to our blog, far from the truth. There is a process of testing, then finding out if it works, how many people it serves, how long it takes to prepare, cooking, readjusting, writing, editing, etc. But it would have been much more difficult to start without at least those snippets of information. We're grateful for that. And I'm a huge believer in giving credit to people.
This yuca fritters recipe is an example of this. Without our friend Professor Midence, from Santiago, I may have not found out that, besides my beloved arepas de yuca, there was another version: arañitas, ("little spiders" in Spanish).
Arañitas and Arepitas de Yuca [+ Video] (Cassava Fritters)
- ½ lb of yuca, [0.23 kg] ,(cassava), peeled and washed
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1½ teaspoons of aniseed
- 1 egg, medium
- 1½ cup of oil, for frying
- Grating: Grate the yuca with the fine side of the grater to make arepitas, or the coarse side to make arañitas. The following steps are the same for both.
- Combining: In a deep bowl mix grated yuca, sugar, salt, egg, and aniseed. Mix well.
- Frying: Heat oil over medium heat in a small skillet (oil should be at least 1 inch [2.5 cm] high).Add 2 tablespoons of the yuca mixture to the hot oil and fry until golden brown on one side (watch out for oil splatters), flip and repeat. Once browned, place on a paper towel to remove excess oil.Continue with the rest of the mixture.
- Serving: You can serve them as a side dish (this is the traditional way), or simply as a snack.