Pasteles De Yuca

Tips From The Rican Chef
Comments and Suggestions
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”Si por casualidad ,duermes y sueñas, que te acaricia la brisa, y sientes, que el rocío, mañanero besa tiernamente, tu mejilla, y el aroma del café, te hace cosquillas, seguro sueñas, que estás en Puerto Rico…..”

OK Everyone. Here is a recipe to get your motors running (Que préndan los motores) for practicing those Christmas pasteles. Agujita y su combo, (The old radio), is going to get us going today. Let me hear my Ricans say wepaaaaa!!
4 cups yuca (grated)
4 tablespoons of Annatto Oil (Achiote)***
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound fresh pork
1 tomato
1 ounce fresh bacon
1 spring cilantro (culantro)
1 sweet pepper (aji dulce)
4 tablespoons Crisco lard
2 teaspoons capers
¼ cup olives
1 onion
1 green pepper
2 ounces ham
Banana leaves

  1. Shred the Yucca (Careful with the nails) and squeeze thru some cheesecloth (Not those nasty old socks) to get some of the starch out.
  2. Mix the oil, salt, and milk, mixing well to form a smooth mixture.
  3. Cut the ham (yum yum- que rico), bacon, and pork meat into very small pieces. Mince the rest of the ingredients and don’t eat anything more, too many calories.
  4. In a large saucepan, cook all the meat along with salt, tomato, cilantro, peppers and onion until the meat is tender. (Seasonings to your taste).
  5. Once everything is cooked, add the olives and capers.
  6. Cut the banana leaves into APPROIMATELY 10x10 squares and wilt them over low heat on the stove, not the Bar-B-Q, so jibaro.
  7. Wet the center of the leave with annatto oil (achiote for the ricans) and place about 5 or 6 tablespoons of the yucca mix in the center.
  8. Using a spoon, form a well in the center of the mixture and place about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture in the well. Carefully fold the leaf over, in order to cover the meat with yucca on all sides. DO NOT over stuff them. Tie them with cooking twine, (not little Pedro’s chiringa string, he’ll have you running around looking for string later).
  9. Repeat this procedure until all the yucca mixture has been used. You can now freeze or cook them when you are ready.

How to cook the pasteles:
  1. In a large, large pot, heat about 4 litres of water and add some salt.
  2. Place about 12 pasteles in the water and bring them to a boil.
  3. They should cook for about 45 minutes. If you unwrap them and they are not done, don’t panic, (No se acabó el mundo), re-wrap with the same leave and boil for 10 minutes more.
NOTE: This is The Rican Chef’s own recipe.
*** Recipe For Annatto Oil (Achiote) ***

1 Cup Vegetable Cooking Oil (or leftover used oil from frying)
½ Cup of Achiote (annatto) Seeds

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, on medium heat, and when it gets hot,turn down the heat to low, and add the achiote seeds.
  2. Stir every now and then, for about 5 minutes, or until the oil turns a bright orange.
  3. Cool the Achiote oil completely and strain through a paper lined sieve, into a glass container or a can. You can use cheesecloth, if you prefer.
  4. Cover, refrigerate and use this oil in the quantities called for in various Rican recipes like this one.

  • Gently simmer the seeds in oil to avoid those nasty stains that will never come off. “Ni el medico chino te quita esas manchas.”
  • If you let it boil on high, it will be all over you and the stove and I’ll hear you say, “Easy off, help me”, and you’ll remember this Rican Mama.
Oh by the way, Save me some pastels and get ready because the Christmas recipes are coming soon.

Ta Ta Da’ling…………
Tips From The Rican Chef
  • Serve them hot with my arroz con gandules. Email me, if you would like the recipe for “Pique Caballero a lo Rican” to add a little spice to the pastels, but be warned.......
  • The banana leaves can be purchased at most Latino grocery stores. If you can't find them anywhere, you can substitute them with parchment paper or just use aluminum foil.
  • Goya sells frozen grated Yuca.
Comments and Suggestions

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