Buñuelos – Cheese Fritter
Buñuelos is a very typical Colombian treat and is eaten in most homes throughout the holidays. It also has become a popular breakfast snack and there are many small shops or street vendors selling this delicious treat.
It has numerous names and variations around the world – bimuelo, birmuelo, bermuelo, burmuelo, or bonuelo and is common in many Latin American countries as well as Greece, Morocco and Turkey. Some people call it a cheese fritter but I have never found it to be overtly cheesy.
This is a recipe that I personally have never attempted from scratch because at Christmas you can buy the mix in a box. The scratch versions have some variation especially with the cheese. Typically in Colombia the cheese used is a soft white cheese called Queso Costeño. In North America, Feta cheese has been substituted but I can’t help wondering if that would be a bit salty.
- ¾ – 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup yucca/cassava flour or tapioca starch
- 1/2 -1 cup finely grated feta cheese
- ¼ -1 1/2 cups finely grated Queso fresco or fresh farmer cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon of butter
- 3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/8 – 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- Salt to taste
- Vegetable Oil
The Box Recipe
- 350 g. of mix – which includes the above starches, sugar, salt and baking powder
- 3 cups of freshly grated Costeño cheese
- 1 egg
- Salt further if necessary
Blend the flour with the egg and the cheese.
Add water or milk to the dough slowly forming the batter until it is soft and no longer sticks to your hands.
In a saucepan heat some vegetable oil until it reaches 145 or 150 degrees Celsius. The oil must not be too hot or too cold. One way to test it is to make a small ball of dough and drop it into the oil. If it rises faster than ten seconds the oil is too hot. If it does not rise, then the oil is too cold. Once you reach the desired temperature, then it should be kept constant.
When the oil is ready form the dough into balls about 2.5 cm or 1 in. and place them one by one into the boiling oil. As we have seen with the above test they will sink at first and then bounce back to the top. When the dough is golden brown take them out and place them on some absorbent paper towel.