Tequeños are one of my favorite Venezuelan foods ever. I remember eating them by the dozens when I lived in Venezuela and once I moved to Miami, they were kind of hard to come by. Tequeños represent my childhood and are a huge part of my Venezuelan identity. I can’t imagine living without them. I learned this recipe during the 2020 Covid-19 quarantine with my mom. I went back to live with my family during that scary time and mom had bought some Venezuelan queso blanco. She said she wanted to learn how to make tequeños since there was nothing else to do, so I went online to figure out how to make them. We stumbled upon the page of a Venezuelan chef named, Sumito Estevez, who had created a “tequeño challenge” on his Youtube page. In his video, he shows you how to make the tequeños and then challenges you to make them yourself. My mom and I went to work and the end result was exquisite. We were in shock at how good they came out. I realized I can make tequeños from any part of the world, as long as they have queso blanco — that’s a must. I cannot take any credit for this recipe, this was all Chef Sumito, so a HUGE shout to him!  Follow him on Instagram @sumitoestevez.

Original recipe by Sumito Estevez.

Ingredients:

3 and ¾ cups of flour

½ cup and 2 tbs of milk

½ cup and 2 tbs of water

¼ cup of vegetable oil

1 and ½ tsp of salt

Queso blanco

Salsa Verde:

Small bunch of cilantro

2 tbs of mayonnaise

½ tbs of lime

3 cloves of garlic

Recipe:

Pour the milk, water, vegetable oil and salt into a small pot and cook in medium heat until lukewarm. Mix the warm liquid with the flour and knead with your hands to make the dough. Keep kneading until the dough is no longer sticky. When ready, shape into a ball and let it rest 1/2 hour at room temperature.

Prepare cheese by cutting into strips approximately 3/4 inch by 2 3/4 inches long.

Scatter flour on a clean, flat surface. After 1/2 hour has passed, place the dough ball on the surface and roll into a square approximately 1/8 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the flattened dough into long uniform strips until there is one strip for each piece of cheese.

Place a piece of queso blanco at one end of the first strip and roll it up until it is completely covered by dough. Repeat this with the rest of the cheese pieces. Let the tequeños rest in the fridge for half an hour.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high flame. Once the oil is hot, lower the flame to a medium setting. Carefully, fry the tequeños until golden brown and crunchy. As you remove tequeños from oil, place on pieces of paper towels to absorb any excess oil. 

For the salsa verde, just mix the cilantro, mayo, lime and garlic in a food processor and when the salsa is ready, you’re ready to eat your freshly made Venezuelan tequeños!

Check out my video tutorial below:

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