Ecuadorian Potato Cakes (Llapingachos)

Ecuadorian Potato Cakes (Llapingachos)

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Makes 16

Lunch Sides Snacks and Appetizers

Llapingachos are a traditional and representative dish from Ecuador, especially from the Ecuadorian highlands, where they were created. Llapingachos are potato cakes made with boiled and mashed potatoes, cheese, and onion, and are pronounced “yah-peen-GAH-chos.” Depending on the region, there are different ways to eat them, but they are commonly served with chorizo, chicken, pork, or fried eggs along with one of two traditional sauces on the side, salsa fresca or a creamy peanut sauce.

In this Ecuadorian Potato Cakes recipe, we use Yukon Gold potatoes (closer to the traditionally-used Chola potato) and delicious Tropical Ecuadorian Cheese, so you can taste the authentic flavors.

Enjoy llapingachos as an appetizer for lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch. Remember that Tropical has different Chorizos that would go perfectly with this delicious dish.

Ingredients:

Potato Pancakes:

  • 6 medium potatoes, such as Yukon gold, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet Sazon with coriander and annatto
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Tropical Queso Ecuatoriano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Fresh Salsa:

  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup prepared Peanut Sauce

Preparation:

  1. Fill a large saucepan 3/4 full of water and heat to boil. Add potatoes. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain well. Mash potatoes. You should have about 3 cups.
  2. Meanwhile, put 1 tablespoon of oil in a small skillet and bring to medium heat; add onions and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a large bowl combine mashed potatoes, sautéed onion, flour, Sazon, salt and pepper until combined. Stir in shredded Queso until well mixed. Shape 1/4 cupful potato mixture into sixteen 3-inch-round patties, each about 1/2-inch thick.
  3. In medium bowl combine tomato, red onion, cilantro, olive oil and red wine vinegar to mix well. Set aside.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a 12-inch skillet; place on medium-high heat. Cook half the potato pancakes until well browned on both sides. Remove to plate. Repeat with remaining potato pancakes and olive oil.
  5. Serve with fresh salsa and peanut sauce.