Craving some comfort food? Bollitos de Maíz (Boiled Cornmeal Dumplings) is a comfort dish can be served as a side dish or in our beloved sancocho.
Bollitos de Maíz (Boiled Cornmeal Dumplings) is one of our humble, comfort foods, a dish that can easily be forgotten amidst the plethora of other Dominican side dishes.
These dumplings are linked to the history of the Caribbean, and the immigration between the islands.
We have written more extensively about Domplines, the more common type of dumplings in our cuisine. These arrived in our country with the British island immigrants that came here to work in the sugar industry, and that we know as Cocolos.
These Bollitos de Maíz (Boiled Cornmeal Dumplings) are also popular in the British Caribbean islands, where they found in a fried version, and a boiled one. Jamaican cornmeal dumplings are a staple of their cuisine. But this dish also exists in nearly identical form in Trinidad, and the Southern US, all places where our African ancestors had an important influence on the local cuisine.
Bollitos de Maíz (Boiled Cornmeal Dumplings) are more commonly found as part of the Sancocho stew in many homes. This is how I encountered them the first time, but these dumplings are also served as a side dish, usually with some sort of guisado (stewed meat) with abundant sauce, but if you are making cornmeal dumplings for stew the recipe is just the same.
About our recipe
This is not a dish that was part of my family repertoire, in fact, I first encountered it when I moved south to Santo Domingo. Bollitos de Maíz –and “domplines” in general– are more common in the south, as this is where the majority of recent inter-island immigrants settled.
This is a fairly standard recipe, and while there can be some variations between homes, it won’t be a major departure from the one I present you. If you have a different way of making and serving Bollitos de Maíz, I’d love to hear it.
Bollitos de Maíz Recipe (Boiled Cornmeal Dumplings)
- 1 1/2 cups of fine grain cornmeal
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 3/4 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
- Mix cornmeal, flour, water, sugar, salt, and butter. Mix well with a spatula. Take two tablespoons of the mix and form into dumplings, squeezing to compress the dumplings. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Heat broth until it breaks into a rolling boil. Pour in oil and lower the heat to medium. Using a slotted spoon, place the dumplings gently into the broth one by one.
- Cook for 35 minutes or until well cooked inside. Add water as needed to maintain the same level. 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.