Chochoyotes are small masa-based dough balls cooked in soup or broth. You could imagine them like little meatless meatballs. This basic preparation is just one expression of the many uses of masa in Mexican cuisine.
Different chochoyote recipes can be found in different regions of Mexico, mainly in central and southern Mexico. One element remains, and that is the way they are always cooked in a liquid, be it a soup, a broth or a mole. They can add richness and texture to meatless dishes, making them more filling. Adding chochoyotes to the soup thickens the broth as they release some of the starchy mass as they cook.
A recipe for chochoyotes can be as simple as a little masa harina with salt and water, like in this recipe, while others call for the addition of lard, herbs, cheese or chicharrones rubs.
“The little dumplings are rich in earthy corn flavor and have a wonderfully dense texture, making them perfect for soups and hearty stews. They're easy to make and a great alternative to a side of corn tortillas or a can of hominy.” —Danielle Centoni
350 grams (3 cups) Masa Harina
1 teaspoon sea-salt
1 to 1 1/4 cups warm Water
Gather the ingredients.
Place the masa harina and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Add the water, gradually pouring in as you mix, until you get a dough that is soft enough to form smooth balls without cracks. You may not need to use all of the water.
Knead the dough lightly for a minute or two.
Form centimeter-sized balls of dough with your hands. Then use your fingertip to make an indentation in the center of each ball. The idea is to flatten the center a bit so that each dumpling cooks well when you add it to the boiling soup. Store the chochoyotes under a damp cloth or plastic wrap until you are ready to cook them.
Bring your cooking medium, such as soup or broth, to a gentle boil.
Once you have formed all the chochoyotes, you can add them to a soup, broth, or mole. Gently submerge them in the liquid and adjust the heat so that the liquid is at a simmer enough for the chochoyotes to move, but not boiling quickly. Simmer until completely cooked, about 15 minutes. You can test this by cutting one of the chochoyotes in half to see if the center is cooked through. Serve immediately with the soup or broth.
- For richer chochoyotes, add 2 tablespoons room temperature lard, butter, or vegetable oil to the dough and reduce the amount of water as needed.
- If you are lucky enough to have access to fresh masa, you can use that instead of masa harina. In this case, you may not need to add much water or any water at all.
- Season the chochoyote dough with a teaspoon of herbs such as epazote, hoja santa, avocado leaf or coriander.
Here's how to store it
- Chochoyotes should be cooked the same day they are made.
- After cooking, store the leftovers along with the soup in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- We advise against freezing.
|Nutritional Information (per serving)|
View full nutrition label
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Saturated fat 0g||2%|
|Total sugar 1g|
|Vitamin C 0 mg||0%|
|Calcium 82 mg||6%|
|Iron 5 mg||28%|
|Potassium 153 mg||3%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) indicates how much a nutrient in a food portion contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general nutritional advice.|
(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)