• White cheese
  • Panela, piloncillo, cane sugar … whatever you call it, you’ll find it at Sedano’s
  • Oil
  • Pre-cooked cornmeal.
  • Ripe plantain


  • Serving Size: 12-14
  • Cook time: 20 Minutes

Mandocas are similar to sweet and fried pretzels but with a single ear, served with grated cheese or small wedges of salty semi-soft cheese. They are made with pre-cooked corn meal, banana, grated cheese and panela (cane sugar).


  1. In a small to medium-sized pan, boil half of the panela (piloncillo) in 2-3 cups of water to break the block. This will become sweetened water that you will be using to mix in the flour with the plantain and the cheese.
  2. Peel the plantain and cut into pieces. In another container with water and a bit of salt, boil the plantain for about 20-30 minutes. It should feel soft when pierced with a fork.
  3. Grate the white cheese until you obtain 1 1/2 cups.

Everything should be ready before proceeding to mix with the cornmeal:

  1. In a large bowl, mix 2-3 cups of cornmeal with the lukewarm panela water, kneading continuously to prevent dough balls from forming.
  2. Once mixed, gradually add the plantain puree and panela water if necessary, until you get a homogeneous texture.
  3. Add the grated cheese
  4. Knead continuously until you obtain homogeneous dough that does not stick to the edges of the bowl.

Recipe by: Claudia Ahrens-Hernandez