There are just 3 main ingredients in these scrumptious Ecuadorian potato patties – potatoes, cheese and scallions. Serve them with a fresh tomato avocado salad for a wonderfully satisfying vegetarian lunch or dinner. Add a fried egg on top for even more excitement.
There are all sorts of ways to eat these popular Ecuadorian cheese and potato patties. In Ecuador they’re called Llapingachos, pronounced (yah-peen-GAH-chos), and you might find them served on their own, as an appetizer, or for breakfast lunch or dinner with a fried egg on top and chorizo sausages on the side. Or they might be slathered with creamy peanut sauce and topped with tomato-onion salad and sliced avocado.
The good thing is that Llapingachos are already amazing before you even add anything to them: mashed potatoes, scallions and cheese formed into a thick pancake and cooked on a griddle or skillet until they’re brown and crisp on the outside and tender inside. If you like that kind of thing – that oniony potato pancake kind of dish – these will win you over!
I tested out these potato patties on my family last week with tomato avocado onion salad on the side. I love the pairing of the potato patties with colorful, juicy tomatoes, red onion, avocado and a light lime-garlic dressing.
It was a perfect satisfying vegetarian meal. Having said that, I also sautéed up some sliced spicy chicken sausage for my son, because he’s not a fan of tomatoes. The sausage and Llapingacho combo is also pretty great. Depends on what kind of mood you’re in.
I could not have named a single Ecuadorian recipe before researching this post. You don’t hear a lot about Ecuadorian cuisine. Ecuador has other claims to fame: it contains The Galapagos Islands which is one of the worlds best destinations for viewing wildlife; it’s got the equator running through it (hence the name Ecuador).
Now that I’ve tried Llapingachos I think it’s definitely a claim to fame that the rest of the world should know about.
This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light Global Kitchen
Here’s the recipe for Ecuadorian Cheese and Potato Patties with Tomato Onion Avocado Salad. If you try this recipe please come back to leave a rating and a comment. I’d love to know what you think!Print
Ecuadorian Cheese and Potato Patties with Tomato Onion Avocado Salad
These sautéed cheese and potato patties are simple and scrumptious. They make a delicious vegetarian meal served with a fresh salad of tomato, avocado and red onions. Perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner. [gluten-free]
- Prep Time: 45 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
- Yield: 5
- Category: Breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner
- Cuisine: Ecuadorian
- 2 tablespoons or so of cooking oil such as canola (or for authenticity use annatto oil if you can find it or make it)
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered (4 medium sized potatoes)
- 1 cup of farmer cheese or substitute shredded queso fresco or Monterey Jack cheese
- 6-7 green onions, minced, white and light green parts only, mince the dark parts separately to sprinkle on the finished dish.
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Tomato Onion Avocado Salad
- 1 head butter lettuce, washed and torn (optional)
- 1 1/2 -2 pounds of ripe tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced – I suggest heirloom tomatoes, if you can find them
- 2 ripe avocados, thinly sliced (wait until the last minute to slice the avocados, so they don’t turn brown)
- 1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, and drained
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (the juice of 1 lime)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled and pressed or finely minced
- Place potatoes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large pot and fill with water to cover potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash with a potato masher. Set aside to cool.
- Add cheese, green onions, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to potatoes, stirring well to combine. Scoop up about 1/2 cup of the mixture and form it into a patty that’s about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Set it on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture. You should get about 10 patties. Cover and refrigerate patties until firm – for at least 1/2 hour. (note: you can make them ahead up to this point and keep them in the fridge overnight, if you like)
- Make the Salad While the potatoes are chilling make the salad. In a small bowl whisk oil, lime juice, garlic, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Place tomatoes, avocado, onion and lettuce (if using) in a bowl. Toss gently with dressing.
- Cook the Patties: Heat a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Cook patties in two batches. Let them to brown on one side for 4-5 minutes, then turn and brown on the other side for 3-4 minutes.
- Serve patties with tomato-avocado salad. Sprinkle patties and salad with reserved minced green onions.