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Coxinha Coxinha filling Coxinha process Coxinha forming pre fried Coxinha Coxinha recipe Hi Guys! I know we’ve been MIA for quite sometime and when we are posting it seems like everything we’re doing is sponsored (kinda lame, i know), but sometimes you just need to step back, take a deep breath and give yourself a little break. I’ll go ahead and use everyone’s favorite/most hated excuse…”we’ve been super busy!” (again…lame, I know) But now we’re totally back with loads of summer recipes coming your way!

Today we have one of my favorite guilty pleasure snacks…EVER. Coxinha; which are these delicious little tear drop shaped, savory filled, fried bites of pure joy. These little delights will always remind me of one of my favorite trips ever. The summer before I left for college I enrolled in a world-community outreach and development program where we were able to chose a country/city to go to and volunteer to “work” for an extended amount of time….think a baby version of the peace-corp…I mean like very baby-version. I ended up choosing Brazil and because I loved working with children, I signed up to work in a facility in one of the rural areas of Salvador, at an orphanage/day care with children between the ages of 4-8. To say my month stay in Salvador immersed within the local culture was surreal would be the understatement of my life.

There was so much I took back from that majestic trip. Some of the children I met were living in such poor conditions wearing tattered t-shirts and with no shoes on their feet because their parents either couldn’t afford it or they didn’t have parents to provide for them. A number of times my heart broke for them, but then I would get mad at myself because these strong, smiling faced, full of energy kids didn’t need my blubbering sympathy, they needed a friend to play with and to teach them how to stay within the lines in their coloring book. They needed a small dose of assurance that things were going to be okay and I was more than happy to provide them with exactly that…as much as I could, at least. The kids that I met on that trip and the nuns who run the facility (who I’m pretty sure are real life angels) will forever be in my heart. The lessons they taught me and joy they brought me is a gift thatI know I will never be able to properly payback.

Although I worked in an area filled with dirt fields and favelas (although still strangely calming and beautiful at the same time), I was lucky enough to stay right in the city in a house provided by the program with a small group of volunteers. We would each be driven to our prospective work locations in the morning and picked up in the early evening to head back home and share stories of our day with one another. Although I was ‘working’ a lot I had plenty of time to explore the city and take in the sights. One of my favorite discoveries were these delicious little street food snacks called coxinha (meaning little chicken thigh). Coxinha is a savory dough filled with a chicken and cream cheese (or crema) filling, and lightly fried. So good! They’re actually quite easy to make, but are a little bit of a labor of love because of the different steps involved. My absolute favorite coxinha was one I would get almost everyday after ‘work’, from a bakery up the street. I loved that they always used an entire chicken leg, bone and all(!), to form these crazy-fried drumsticks. Nibbling on these giant coxinha and taking a small evening walk by the town square was my favorite way of decompressing in Salvador, after a long day.

The great thing about this treat is that it freezes incredibly well! I usually make a double batch of this recipe and freeze a bunch of the coxinha, then when I’m feeling a little snack-ish all I have to do is heat a little oil and I’m good to go! It’s also perfect timing since we’re nearing the finale of the world cup! (Admittedly I don’t watch soccer, unless I’m at home with my dad!)

Brazil is really such a beautiful and fascinating country, especially Salvador, where I spent most of my time. :) It’s a city full of history, soul, vibrant people, creative culture, and beauty. I have incredible everlasting memories of my experience and while the food is amazing and pretty much an overall flavor factory, it’s the warmth and high spirits of the people that really stole my heart. Enjoy! xx, Jenny

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Makes 10 to 12

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 green onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
plain breadcrumbs

oil for frying

1. Preheat deep fryer or oil to 350˚F.
2. Filling: Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together until fully combined. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Pour stock, oil and salt into a medium pot and simmer. Once the mixture has come to a simmer, add flour and whisk together with a wooden spoon. As dough forms it’ll be harder to stir, but make sure to continue to vigorously stir for about 2 minutes or until a barely sticky dough forms and no dry spots remain.
4. Remove from pot and allow dough to cool on a clean surface. Once dough is cool enough to handle, take about 3 tablespoons at a time and create a 1/4 inch disc in your palm. (if dough get too sticky, wet your hands a little with cold water)
5. Place 2 teaspoons of filling into the center of the disc and bring the edges of the disc up into the center and pinch up and seal to create a tear drop.
6. Gently roll the tear drop into the lightly beaten egg whites followed by a thin layer of bread crumbs. Set aside. Continue until all the coxinha have been made.
7. Fry each coxinha on each side for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

  1. yangjanice Not Specified Not Specified

    These pictures look so yummy, I want to lick my computer screen. Must make this soon!

  2. tara Not Specified Not Specified

    Oh man, these look SO good. They remind me of hush puppies (which I love), but more delicious. Can’t wait to try these!

    Your trip sounds like it was so much fun. I’ve never been to Brazil!

  3. Patricia Not Specified Not Specified

    I’ve been reading the blog for about a year now and I was extremely surprised when I saw today’s recipe because I am brazilian! I love coxinhas but I have never made them myself since here it is so easy for me to buy, frozen or already fried. Tks for sharing a little bit of our culture!

  4. Erin P Not Specified Not Specified

    We just got back from Brazil for the world cup, and I LOVED eating coxinha there! Thank you for the recipe! I’m excited to make them at home now!!

  5. Jennifer Not Specified Not Specified

    So long as you keep these amazing recipes coming on a semi-regular basis, you are forgiven any absences…these look great! I think we all know how it is to get busy, it’s called life :)

  6. Meghan @ Cake 'n' Knife Not Specified Not Specified

    YUM!! I am so ready for a handful of these right now! I totally understand the need for a break from blogging – sometimes you just need a minute to refocus. Can’t wait for more recipes!! :)

  7. Regina Not Specified Not Specified

    I’ve follow your blog for a while and I do like the way you write the recipes, and the photos are always incredible.
    I am a Brazilian living in America, and quite often now we see ‘Brazilian recipes’ in foreigner blogs, but I have to say that some really ‘destroy’ the recipes, but this does not happen here, you do know what you are talking about.
    I love coxinhas, and yet I have not made them here in America, like other Brazilian recipes, sometimes I’m not sure which ingredients to substitute for. You used cream cheese to substitute our catupiry cheese, I’d never thought of that but I think it might work, and I’ll give it a try.

  8. Traci Not Specified Not Specified

    Love the story behind this one, and they look completely delicious too, of course. Maybe you should do a series with more “memory food.”

  9. Boozy Epicure Not Specified Not Specified

    These look so delicious! I’ve never seen or heard of coxinha before. Definitely gonna try these out.

  10. Kevin | keviniscooking Not Specified Not Specified

    These look amazing and right up my alley of snacking/finger food munching. I just made a roasted tomatillo salsa and these coxinha’s will be dipped in it quite soon! Thanks and the photos are beautiful.

  11. Annie @ ciaochowbambina Not Specified Not Specified

    Ahhh, that last picture kills me. I want some right now!

  12. Hope Not Specified Not Specified

    Is there any type of dipping sauce you would recommend with them? They look amazing!

    • Jenny Park Not Specified Not Specified

      Traditionally they’re served as is because they’re so rich and creamy on their own!

      • Adriana Not Specified Not Specified

        As served as it is, but we usually eat with ketchup, mayo and mustard.
        I say “we” because I’m brazilian and I love coxinha, I think is the best finger food we have.

        • Jenny Park Not Specified Not Specified

          Interesting! Ive always eaten mine plain, but will definitely try it with condiments next time. This is one of my fav snacks too..this and acaraje! :)

  13. Sadye Not Specified Not Specified

    Better to have quality than quantity! Any suggestions for baking instead of frying, or is it go big or go home?

  14. Tina @ What We Keep Not Specified Not Specified

    I would love these- the whole family would. A must try for sure!
    Everyone needs a break once in awhile- good for you. :)

  15. Eileen Not Specified Not Specified

    Ooh! I have never heard of coxinha before, but I obviously didn’t know what I was missing, because now I feel like I could eat a plateful! NOM.

  16. Samina | The Cupcake Confession Not Specified Not Specified

    Woooow!!!! I love your thoughts on Salvador, its people, culture and traditions and the way you described it makes me want to visit it! I also want to make these fried balls of heaven! They look and sound so absolutely flavorful!!!!!!!! Pinning!

  17. Todd Not Specified Not Specified

    There’s no way I don’t make these IMMEDIATELY!! Truly the perfect snack.

  18. Millie l Add A Little Not Specified Not Specified

    This looks like heaven in a mouthful! Looks perfect as a football snack too :)

  19. gabis Not Specified Not Specified

    I have the same feelings from the others Brazilian readers. Very surprised to see this recipe here. And yes, coxinha is really delicious and your batch looks so yummy I’m pretty sure you nailed this recipe to perfection! ;D
    About the timing you probably know by now Brazil lost the semifinals in a incredible 0x7 to Germany. So sad :( We will need a lot of coxinhas to comfort us lol.

  20. Karla Not Specified Not Specified

    Amo! it’s my favorite Brazilian savory snack of all times. One of the things I miss the most as a Brazilian and living abroad.

  21. Stephanie @ A Magpie in the Sky Not Specified Not Specified

    I love the story and history behind the recipe. It sounds like a truly magical month. While I’m scared of deep frying I think I might just have to plan a trip to Brazil!

  22. Monica Not Specified Not Specified

    I’m enjoying reading your blog. I thought the beautiful story of his trip to Brazil and was a pleasant surprise to see the recipe of “coxinhas” here. In Brazil coxinhas found in bakeries, in bars and are guaranteed presence at birthdays, corporate parties and any celebration imaginable. The same recipe can be used to make “risoles” with fillings of shrimp, chicken, beef, etc..

  23. PolaM Not Specified Not Specified

    These look like little balls of happiness! Can you send some over?

  24. PINGBACK: Dress to 2014

  25. Darby Not Specified Not Specified

    You mentioned these freeze well. Can you clarify whether you fry then freeze (doing a quick fry to reheat) or do you freeze beforehand? Thanks, These look so good!

  26. Sarah Not Specified Not Specified

    Good stuff! I miss these from my time in Brazil. I will definitely have to give them a try here in Minnesota! Thanks!

  27. Rosana Barratt Not Specified Not Specified

    Thank you lovely recipe

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