If you love mozzarella sticks, you are going to go loco for these Venezuelan Tequeños.
I was first introduced to this cheesy appetizer at a friend’s birthday party. I can always count on eating amazing Venezuelan food at her house, and these Venezuelan Tequeños were no exception.
Think of Tequeños as the Latin American version of the mozzarella stick. Salty fresh cheese is cut into slices, wrapped in pastry dough, and then deep fried. The cheese melts just a touch, but not as much as mozerella tends to do.
And yes, one time when I was at TGI Friday’s when I was younger I choked on a mozzarella stick.
How To Make Venezuelan Tequeños
There’s a few things you need to look out for when making Tequeños, but overall the recipe is pretty straight forward.
First thing first, you gonna get the cheese right. This appetizer uses queso blanco, a mild, unaged white cheese. It’s salty with a hint of freshness, making it addicting. It also holds up really well to heat, making it perfect for Tequeños.
The dough is essentially a pie crust rolled out then cut into slices. And let me tell you, once you chill this dough for 1/2 an hour, it’s easily one of the easiest doughs to work with.
To achieve the traditional wrapping style, place the stick of cheese at a diagonal on the dough and roll. When you get to the end fold it over.
Caution: Some of these ended up looking VERY phallic when I folded the dough over. I guess you can say these make amazing bachelorette party apps.
The Dipping Sauce
Since the Tequeño themselves are very light (and can be considered bland by some), serve with a spicy salsa and gauc.
Want to eat some more South American foods?
Try this Nicaraguan Tres Leches Cake.
Or these Brazilian Chocolate Brigadeiros.
Get The Recipe For Venezuelan Tequeños Below.
These South American Tequeños are filled with queso blanco and deep fried.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp cold butter cut into cubes
- 1 egg beaten
- 6 Tbsp ice water
- 12 oz package queso blanco cut into slices about 1/2-inch x 1/2-inch x 2 1/2-inch
- vegetable oil for frying
In a large bowl add the flour and salt and mix with a fork. Sprinkle butter evenly over flour and rub butter between your fingers with the flour until butter is in pea-size pieces.
Add egg and water and using your hands, mix into a dough. Add more water if needed, a teaspoon at a time. Press into a rectangle and wrap in plastic wrap. Let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Flour your counter and place the dough on the counter. Roll out to about 1/8-1/4 inch thick, Cutting into 3/4 inch wide strips.
Place the cheese on a bit of a diagonal, and wrap dough around cheese, making sure to overlap dough. When you get to the bottom overlap dough and pinch to seal. Repeat with remaining strips and cheese.
Fill a skillet with 1 inch of vegetable oil and heat to 400ºF. Using tongs, place Tequeños in oil and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.
You can keep these warm by placing them in a 180ºF oven until ready to serve.