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Potato Fritters (Bocaditos de Papa)

tortitas de papa

Photo by Sophia Villarreal


Not exactly latkes but they are fried and fantastic.  Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate it!


Bocaditos de Papa

Potato-Cheese Fritters


Bocadito or bocadillo means a tidbit, literally a “little mouthful.”

These delicious examples were showing up all over the Isthmian city of Juchitán when I went there one spring to attend the saints’- day observations called velas.  The potato bocaditos are very popular on plates of cocktail appetizers at the parties accompanying the velas.  This typical version is from the restaurant Bar Jardín.

The cheese adds some salt, so taste before seasoning.


1 pound mealy-type potatoes (2 large potatoes), peeled and cut into thick chunks

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup finely crumbled queso cotija (see page 000) or grated aged ricotta salata

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Vegetable oil for frying


Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil and drop in the potatoes.  Cook, testing occasionally with a fork, until just done but not soggy, about 12 – 15 minutes.  Drain thoroughly.  Transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl and mash thoroughly with a fork or potato masher.  With a wooden spoon, beat in the eggs and cheese.  Season well with pepper and optional salt.  Shape the mixture between your palms to form 12 compact round cakes about 2 1/2 inches across.

Pour vegetable oil into a medium-size saucepan or deep skillet to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 375°F over medium-high heat. Adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a steady temperature, fry the potato cakes 3 or 4 at a time until golden on both sides.  Lift out onto paper towels to drain as they are done.  Serve immediately.

Yield: 12 fritters