The Puerto Rican Cornmeal Fritters You Should Definitely Try

It seems every culture and geographical region has its own take on a bready corn dish, or at least something that is made from a cornmeal-based batter that's been pan-cooked or deep-fried. The American South is rife with them, including hot water cornbread, Southern-style hush puppies, ashcake, and corn fritters. But you can't count out New England's take on flapjacks, the thin and unleavened johnnycakes, which will just as readily take can maple syrup or molasses (via Delighted Cooking). 

Central and South America have also put their spin on this class of dish, where Brazilian sweet corn cake takes corn (or milho) and sugar and pairs it with tropical ingredients like coconut milk, and shredded coconut, as Olivia's Cuisine notes. Similarly, our recipe for these Venezuelan areapas, or corn pocket bread, shows that ingredient doesn't need much help to making something sweet and homey. 

One variation on the cornmeal fritter that you should try is a Puerto Rican style that's so versatile that it can be served as a side, a snack, or enjoyed as a sweet breakfast treat along with coffee.

How sorullos de maiz are different

Known as sorullos de maiz, sorullos for short, and sometimes sorrulitos, the Puerto Rican cornmeal fritters take their name from the Spanish word for cigar since the fritters are rolled into a stogie-like tube shape. What sets Puerto Rican corn fritters apart from other cornmeal-based fritters is not just the shape but also the ingredients and the way it's cooked. It's a two-step process in which the batter gets precooked on the stovetop before being rolled into a tube shape and deep fried. 

The batter is made with just a few ingredients; as Goya Foods indicates, the dish comes together with cornmeal, sugar, water, and salt, which gets boiled in a saucepan until a dough forms. The next step in the recipe is adding grated gouda or Edam cheese, which is mixed into the batter to give the sorullos a cheesy, delicious bite. According to Wisconsin Cheese, Edam cheese is a Dutch-style cow's milk cheese with "a nutty and salty taste that's made with skimmed and part-skimmed milk." Once the dough has come together with cornmeal, water, salt, and cheese, it's time to shape them and drop them into hot cooking oil until the outside is golden brown and crispy.

There are alternative methods if you don't like to eat fried foods. According to The Spruce Eats, the crispiness can be replicated by brushing the fritters with butter before popping them into an air fryer. 

Variations on sorullos

However you cook them, savory sorullos are served with a side of dipping sauce called mayoketchup, which can be as simple as blending mayonnaise and ketchup together. Or if you'd like, you can try a stepped-up version of the sauce, like a recipe from the Food Network that makes a remoulade style mayoketchup that includes minced garlic, adobo seasoning, and cajun spice, and gets an extra flavor boost from incorporating a sofrito of bell and sweet peppers, onion, cilantro, and garlic.

While the corn fritters can often be enjoyed as a savory version, according to The Cookware Geek, you can add sugar and guava jam into the batter for a sweeter version. Per The Washington Post, other sweet additions can include coconut milk and vanilla in the batter. No matter how you decide to make your sorullos, this Puerto Rican cuisine staple is sure to be a hit.