Malanga Fritters with Serrano Chiles and Garlic

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Pound  malanga
  • 1/2 Cup  lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 Cup  all-purpose flour
  • 3 s  cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2   serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon  kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1/2 Cup  canola oil or other neutral oil for frying
  • 1-2   limes, cut into wedges

Bravo to Jack Bishop, author of Vegetables Every Day, for writing such a compelling headnote for his malanga fritters: On reading it, I immediately shredded the malanga I had on hand and made these fritters. These "crisp, wispy fritters," as he calls them, are simple to make, splatter-free when fried, and addictively delicious. There are lots of possible variations beyond the chiles and garlic, such as adding bits of ham and cheese, diced bacon and chives, grated Mexican cotija cheese, or diced bell peppers and onions. I also like to serve the fritters as canapés, like a little potato latke, topped with a thin slice of smoked salmon, a tiny dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche, and a sprinkle of finely minced chives.

Directions

Fill a large bowl 2/3 full of cold water. Trim, peel, and rinse the malanga. Cut it into large chunks if you are shredding it in a food processor. Otherwise, cut it in half crosswise. Submerge the malanga pieces in the water as you work to keep them from discoloring. Drain and blot dry before shredding.

Using the coarse holes on a box grater or a food processor fitted with the coarse shredding disk, shred the malanga. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the parsley, flour, garlic, chiles, and salt. Toss well until evenly combined.

Scoop up a rounded tablespoonful of the malanga mixture and shape into a flat disk 2 inches in diameter. (The edges should look ragged, with stringy bits of malanga.) Place on a baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a double thickness of paper towels and set near the stove. Set a slotted spatula alongside the baking sheet. Pour the oil to a depth of ¼ inch into a large frying pan, preferably cast iron, and heat over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers but is not smoking.

Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, add the fritters to the hot oil and fry, turning once, until crisp and golden brown on both sides, 5-6 minutes total. Using the slotted spatula, transfer the fritters to the towel-lined baking sheet. Keep warm in the oven while you fry additional batches. Serve hot, accompanied with the lime wedges for squeezing over the top.

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