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Nov 17, 2017

Shrimp Stuffed Cuban Potato Balls

These Shrimp Stuffed Cuban Potato Balls are hot, crispy, and filled with a delicious shrimp ragout.

Shrimp Stuffed Cuban Potato Balls

These shrimp stuffed Cuban potato balls are inspired by the potato balls served by Porto's, a Southern California family run Cuban bakery with a serious cult following. Their pastries are gorgeous and delicious, but their potato balls/papas rellenas filled with picadillo are in a class of their own. 

I just discovered that Porto's also makes seafood stuffed potato balls. They are only available on Fridays during Lent. While I haven't tried them in real life, I still became obsessed when I heard about them and had to try making a fish stuffed potato ball.

Shrimp Stuffed Cuban Potato Balls

I stuffed these with a shrimp ragout made with a wine, seafood stock, and vegetable sauce. To stuff the potato balls, I added a whole shrimp from the ragout as well as a teaspoon of the ragout sauce. If you'd like to have a larger amount of stuffing in the potato balls, chop the shrimp and ragout into small pieces and mix in some of the potatoes. This makes it easier to mound it into the potatoes.

Speaking of the ragout, you will have enough leftover for a couple of bowls for lunch or a light dinner.

Shrimp Stuffed Cuban Potato Balls

I made these shrimp stuffed potato balls extra large so we could have them as a potato side dish. This version of the recipe makes nine large potato balls, and they are perfect for making in advance. After deep frying the potatoes, refrigerate them once they have cooled. Reheat them in a 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes and serve. So good.

Shrimp Stuffed Cuban Potato Balls

It's hard to see the shrimp in the photo above, but I promise, it's there!

This month, the Fish Friday Foodies group theme is "stuffed." We could stuff fish, stuff fish into something, or make a stuffing with fish. Since I've already stuffed a fish (check out my Kale and Pesto Stuffed Cod), I decided to stuff fish into potatoes.

After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the great Fish Friday "stuffed" recipes. Thank you to Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm for this month's theme.

Yield: 9 servings

Shrimp Stuffed Cuban Potato Balls


Shrimp Ragout
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 large celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 1 cup of canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Potato Balls
  • 3 pounds of russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 eggs, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 to 2 cups plain breadcrumbs


Shrimp Ragout
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Sauté for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.  Add some salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. Add the wine, fish stock, tomatoes, bay leaf, and the saffron. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the shrimp and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. 
  4. Adjust the salt and paper to taste, and garnish with the parsley. 
Potato Balls
  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain and mash the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of milk and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let cool.
  2. Line two quarter sheet pans with parchment paper. Using two tablespoons, or an ice cream scoop, measure out a portion of the mashed potatoes. Place the potatoes in your hand, round side down. With your thumb, create an indentation on the flat side of the potatoes.
  3. Place one cooked shrimp into the indentation in the potatoes. Add some of the ragout sauce. Add more potatoes over the top of the shrimp mixture, and shape the mixture into a ball. Continue with the rest of the potatoes and shrimp. Place balls onto the parchment lined baking sheets. 
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. In another bowl, place the bread crumbs.
  5. Dip the balls, one at a time, in the egg mixture. Roll in the bread crumbs. Dip again in the egg and roll in the bread crumbs. Place back onto the baking sheets. Repeat with the rest of the potato balls. Refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours. You can also freeze now, to be fried later.
  6. When ready to fry, line two large plates with layers of paper towels.
  7. Bring one quart of oil to 375 degrees F in a Dutch oven or deep fryer. The oil should be deep enough so that each ball will be submerged in the hot oil. Depending on the size of your pan, drop about 2 to 4 balls into the oil and fry for about 5 minutes, until golden brown, turning frequently until cooked evenly. Transfer to the paper towel lined plate. If serving right away, place them on a rack over a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven. Otherwise, when done frying, refrigerate the cooled potato balls until ready to serve. Reheat the potato balls in a 375 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes when ready to serve.

Would you like to comment?

  1. The potato balls look fabulous but just pass me over that bowl please....Seriously gorgeous shrimp.

  2. Oh, those look divine, Karen! I can't wait to try this.

  3. karen, I cannot keep up with you... you are a cooking machine, a baker machine, a Grandma loving machine.... ;-)

    one fantastic recipe after another....

    1. Ha ha! It's one of those weeks! I make a lot of this in advance or I would go crazy. I can't resist participating in these groups. Tomorrow is soup saturday, and then I'm taking a break!

  4. I love these groups, I always come away with the idea of trying at least one or more. These would be a fun addition to one of my Tapas Nights. I love that I can prepare them ahead of time and then reheat. Hmmmm, I've got the Grinch Christmas party coming up...

  5. You had me at hot and crispy! You fry it, I'll eat it. Especially if it includes shrimp. What gorgeous tasty balls, Karen!

    1. Thanks Stacy! Now I'm thinking of a Saturday Night Live skit =)

  6. Oh my gosh.. my mouth is watering. Those look amazing!

  7. This recipe veg version is on my to do list.., but these look so gorgeous.. can't wait to try this out.

    1. Thanks so much Sneha. I bet they'd be wonderful with a spicy vegetarian stew.

  8. Wow. Just wow. We're drooling over the photos:):):) And it would also work great with leftover shrimp from shrimp saganaki as well! (for the stuffing)
    Thanx so much! (salivating) :D


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