These Venezuelan Sweet Corn Fritters (Mandocas) are delicious corn bites that are crunchy on the outside, and soft and cheesy on the inside.
Venezuelan Mandocas Recipe
I have been craving really bad these Sweet Corn Fritters (Mandocas) for days. Despite all my efforts, I couldn’t get them off of my mind so I had no choice but to prepare them.
What are Mandocas?
A mandoca is a Venezuelan deep-fried cornmeal ring. The dough is slightly sweet and full of cheese. They are usually served at breakfast.
The original recipe is made with plantains, but I make them with papelon syrup, the way my Abuelita used to make them.
These Mandocas are super easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. They are crunchy on the outside, and soft and cheesy on the inside.
How to Make Venezuelan Mandocas
These delicious Venezuelan fritters (Mandocas) are extremely quick and easy to make. They’re made with Harina PAN (corn meal) and grated white cheese. The sweet touch of this recipe could be added in two different ways: the traditional, preparing a papelon and spices syrup, and fast way in which you only add granulated sugar to the dough.
I have done both, and of course, the traditional way, with syrup, produce fritters with a more delicious and deep flavor. They taste a little bit like hush puppies and are often served with some more white cheese. I say “some more cheese” because they already have cheese in the dough.
Quick Recipe Notes
I used Queso Aserrin. This most seems in texture to Venezuelan white cheese that I’ve found in the area where I live. It’s sold in Latino stores and it comes already grated in a bag. If you don’t find this brand you use can use any other white cheese with a hard/firm texture, like cacique queso Blanco.
Don’t overcook the syrup or it will thicken too much. For this recipe, we need very watery consistency syrup.
Papelon is also known as piloncillo, panela, or rapadura, it’s unprocessed cane sugar sold in hard, flat discs or cones in most groceries stores. Look in the international aisle.
Looking for More Venezuelan Recipes?
- Venezuelan Mondongo Soup [recipe+video]
- Instant Pot Venezuelan Oxtail Soup [Sopa de Rabo][Video]
- Easy Venezuelan Pepper Tamales (hallaquitas)
- Venezuelan Asado Negro
- Venezuelan Pabellon Bowl [Video]
- Eggless Venezuelan Tequeños
- Venezuelan Flan Quesillo
Venezuelan Sweet Corn Fritters
For the syrup:
- 2 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/4 cup papelon (Brown Sugar Cane), grated *see notes below
- 2 allspice berries
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds
- 2 cups Harina PAN (corn meal)
- 2 cups papelon syrup
- 1 cup Queso Blanco (white hard cheese) grated *see notes below
- Corn oil for deep-frying (you can also use any other oil with a neutral taste)
Prepare the syrup:
- Add all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the papelon is dissolved. Remove from heat and cover for 15 – 20 minutes to steep spices and cool. Once cool remove spices from the saucepan and discard.
Prepare the dough:
- Wash your hands.
- In a medium bowl stir harina pan and syrup together with your hands. Knead until mixture comes together and has no lumps. Add cheese and continue kneading until fully incorporated. The dough should be firm enough to hold its shape without cracking when molded, soft and kneadable (like playdough), but not sticky. If it is too soft add a little more harina pan; if too hard add a little more water. Let dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 20 equal-sized balls. Set aside.
- Take a ball and place it over the countertop. Roll, with the palms of your hands, into a cylinder until dough is 5-6 inches long. Bring ends together and overlap them to form a tear-loop. Press ends together. Repeat until you finish with all the dough.
- Add oil to a medium heavy pot. Heat it over medium heat until reaches 375º F. Carefully add the shaped dough to the oil, 4 – 5 at a time, and fry until golden about 2 minutes, turning once. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve immediately with cheese if desired.
- I used Queso Aserrin. This most seems in texture to Venezuelan white cheese that I’ve found in the area where I live. It’s sold in Latino stores and it comes already grated in a bag. If you don’t find this brand you use can use any other white cheese with a hard/firm texture, like cacique queso Blanco.
- Don’t overcook the syrup or it will thicken too much. For this recipe, we need very watery consistency syrup.
- Papelon is also known as piloncillo, panela, or rapadura, it’s unprocessed cane sugar sold in hard, flat discs or cones in most groceries stores. Look in the international aisle.