Surullitos (Cheese Corn Sticks)*

Jorge is Puerto Rican, but I am a white girl from Texas. I wish I was well versed and skilled in Puerto Rican recipes…however I am way more likely to whip up a combination of Southern & Tex-Mex foods. Ever since I wrote about going to Puerto Rico, I get tons of emails from readers asking for easy Puerto Rican recipes. In the past, I have shared a few recipes here and there…but only one (Pan Fried Plantains) was a true Puerto Rican dish.

Me, Jorge and Abuela Esther

The last time Jorge & I headed down to PR, our first stop was to visit his adorable Abuela, Esther. She is a wonderful cook and is always whipping up something delicious! This trip our plates were filled with pork, rice & beans, Surullitos and Guava Pudding Cake.

I am not going to lie, the Guava Pudding Cake was too die for…but these little fried cornmeal sticks won my heart! Something about the slightly sweet flavors and garlic-y ketchup had me swooning. I knew I had to make them for a fun treat once we got back home to Florida.

The flavors of these little fried darlings is hard to describe… It is kind of like Polenta, but better (back off Italians!). The outside is beautifully crispy, while the inside stays soft and moist -for lack of a better word. While they make take a few minutes to roll each one, they are actually very easy to make. Plus I am sure kids would really enjoy helping with the rolling part…if you can find a few to help!


Surullitos (Cheese Corn Sticks)

Yield: 20 sticks


  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup of extremely fine cornmeal
  • 4 oz Edam or Gouda cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups vegetable oil


  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in salt, sugar and cornmeal. Return to heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the dough does not stick to the pot.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Let sit for 5 minutes -or until you are able to handle the heat- and roll 1 tablespoon balls of dough into cigar shapes.

In a large deep skillet, heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees. Cook Surullitos 4-6 at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan, until lightly golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and serve immeidately.

Sauce: Mix together ketchup, mayo and garlic. Serve with fresh hot Surullitos.

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50 Responses to “Surullitos (Cheese Corn Sticks)”

  1. 1

    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 30, 2012 @ 1:01 am

    Cornmeal cheese sticks?! Man alive, I could eat this and only this for the rest of my life.

  2. 2

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 30, 2012 @ 1:08 am

    Fried cheese. Yes, I think this is probably “pretty good: :)

  3. 3

    Katarina — May 30, 2012 @ 1:23 am

    These look perfect!

  4. 4

    Kathryn — May 30, 2012 @ 5:07 am

    Oh they do sound absolutely delicious!

  5. 5

    Gen — May 30, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    oooh yum! I’m definitely going to have to try these out!

  6. 6

    shelly (cookies and cups) — May 30, 2012 @ 8:29 am

    I would love those…I just know it!

  7. 7

    Katrina — May 30, 2012 @ 8:36 am

    Awww yeah, pure deliciousness!! Love it!

  8. 8

    Ali @ Gimme Some Oven — May 30, 2012 @ 8:50 am

    Oh my goodness — these sound (and look!) SO good! Love PR food! :)

  9. 9

    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — May 30, 2012 @ 9:00 am

    I’ve never had anything like this before but I can tell I would love them from the ingredient list – AND they do sound pretty easy.

  10. 10

    Lauren — May 30, 2012 @ 9:24 am

    They look amazing! Its like a fancy cheese stick!

  11. 11

    Devon — May 30, 2012 @ 10:06 am

    You had me at “cheese”.

  12. 12

    Bev @ Bev Cooks — May 30, 2012 @ 10:33 am

    Uh YEAH. I’ll take 45.

  13. 13

    Alexandra — May 30, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

    Surullitos are so delicious. My mom would make them all the time for us. She would use parmesan cheese when she was out of Edam and they were just as delish! You’ve made me crave these so bad now!

  14. 14

    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — May 30, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    Cheese – yes. Garlic ketchup you say?? mmm

  15. 15

    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — May 30, 2012 @ 4:00 pm


  16. 16

    raquel from Florida — May 30, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

    In Venezuela we have “tequeños” . They are similar to the surullitos: white cheese (kind of mexican white queso fresco) and a bread dough. Really good! Is it traditional the gouda cheese in Puerto Rico or they use a local cheese? And the abuela, God Bless the Abuelas of the world!!!!!

  17. 17

    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — May 30, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

    These sound delicious!

  18. 18

    leighton — May 30, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

    This would make a delicious twist on tomato soup & grilled cheese sammies if you used tomato soup as the dip! I’m normally pretty against fried foods, but this is going on my to do list for sure!

  19. 19

    Joanne — May 30, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

    Better than polenta?!?!? Now that is something I NEED to taste. ASAP.

  20. 20

    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — May 30, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

    MMMMmmmmm….these look insane! And the garlicy ketchup is just perfect!

  21. 21

    Mimi — May 31, 2012 @ 1:46 am

    They kinda look like cheese doodles! I love me some cheese doodles!

  22. 22

    DessertForTwo — May 31, 2012 @ 8:07 am

    Yum! I’m so intrigued by this recipe! It sounds delicious!

    Love that family shot :)

  23. 23

    sally @ sally's baking addiction — May 31, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    fried cheese………. does it honestly get any better? these look so perfect! And I just love polenta, so i know that i would LOVE these!

  24. 24

    Amy — June 1, 2012 @ 8:27 am

    Can NOT wait to try…I love all things cornbread-y. My mom, however, LOVES guava and I’ve been looking for recipes to make for her. Any chance of getting that Guava Pudding Cake recipe????

  25. 25

    Rachel Cooks — June 1, 2012 @ 8:36 am

    These look like serious comfort food! Yummmm

  26. 26

    Javelin Warrior — June 1, 2012 @ 10:01 am

    Another amazing post for me to drool over… I’m featuring it in this week’s Food Fetish Friday series (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and as always I love following your creations… Thanks so much for sharing.

  27. 27

    Lauren — June 1, 2012 @ 11:25 am

    These sound so yummy!! Well, stick anything into some hot grease and I’m there.

  28. 28

    Debra Kapellakis — June 1, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    I am a white girl from Texas, married to a Greek American. We live in Greece. My first thought was cornmeal and cheese, Tex-Mex! Yum! I love Greek food but Tex-Mex is the best there ever was or will be. lol I was surprised that this was a Puerto Rican recipe. It sounds and looks incredibly delicious!

  29. 29

    Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — June 1, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

    What delicious little gourmet finger foods! Cheese corn sticks… omg sounds divine.

  30. 30

    kita — June 5, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

    First, Jorge is HUGE! Super tall! He must be like 8 feet? (really, Im just short)

    Second, Cheese. Corn. Sticks. I need these little bad boys in my life (seriously, scrolled past red velvet cookies and brownies and cupcakes to read about these).

  31. 31

    Patty — June 5, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

    I LOVE PUERTO RICO!!! Thanks for the recipe but, are we going to get the recipe for the GUAVA PUDDING CAKE:)!!!

  32. 32

    Debs @ The Spanish Wok — June 6, 2012 @ 2:25 am

    Oh wow, I have to make these very soon, thanks.

    You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here offering a new theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

  33. 33

    Katie — June 6, 2012 @ 7:57 am

    I love love love polenta, especially when baked or grilled, so I imagine that if these are better (I totally believe you!) I’ll love them even more. I can’t wait to try them out, thanks for the recipe!

  34. 34

    Adriana — June 6, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

    My best description for sorullitos is “cheese hush puppies”… I wish I had some right now! They are probably my favorite fritter. :-)

  35. 35

    ATasteOfMadness — June 6, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

    These look delicious! I think I have found my new favorite snack, YUM!

  36. 36

    Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes — June 12, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

    I need these in my life! So simple, yet SO delicious looking. And anything with gouda sounds good-a to me. (Ew. Sorry.)

  37. 37

    Laura — June 29, 2012 @ 2:38 am

    Is this similar to like an arepa? I used to eat those all the time in Miami when I worked their one summer. I too am a Texas girl and love tex mex & of course fried food!

    • Jessica replied: — July 5th, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

      I have to be honest, I am not positive what an arepa is. I tried looking it up and got a few different answers…but it wasn’t like any of the ones I saw.

      Sorry I can’t be more help!

  38. 38

    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — July 15, 2012 @ 12:42 am

    I have a dear friend that is Cuban and I believe that Puerto Rican and Cuban food is very similar. Since I absolutely love ANYTHING Cuban I know I would love these! Can’t wait to give them a try.

  39. 39

    Veronica — August 19, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

    Wow, congrats to you Jessica! (Before I commented, I went to read your about page and I admire you even more now haha). No, don’t live in FL. Didn’t see your show or anything, but I found you from Daring Kitchen.

    I tried to make these tonight, but came out nowhere as pretty golden. I bought the cheese (never heard of Edam, but store didn’t have the other) last week. I don’t have a grater and didn’t realize was supposed to be grated ’til I started to get ingredients ready the other day. So I been holdin’ out – I asked my step mom if she by chance had an extra grater (or one I could borrow)… NO.

    So I spent a better part of two hours trying to slice it up as small as I could!

    I wanna go to culinary school sometime soon, and I’m practicing/expanding horizons as fast as our budget allows.. I think it’s awesome you started from scratch as your hubby can ‘attest’ :)

    I just hope I can develop my knowledge, palate, etc… as you have (I don’t care for sweets that much… a steak girl here!)

    So that leads me to … (off top of my head) you think a chef can be born from someone who can’t STAND seafood, fish? LOL

    BTW, I linked to this post on my blog about attempting this treat :)

    • Jessica replied: — August 22nd, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

      I think anyone can be a chef 😉 There are all kinds, including those who don’t eat seafood!

  40. 40

    Joy Absalon — August 25, 2012 @ 12:18 am

    yellow or white cornmeal? or does it matter?

    • Jessica replied: — August 27th, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

      I used yellow, but I think you could use either.

  41. 41

    Leigh — December 17, 2012 @ 7:56 pm

    @Laura As soon as I saw these I thought of arepas too! I am from Miami so I’ve had many but it’s hard to find a good picture of what I’m talking about on Google since there are so many different kinds.

    @Jessica I’m not allowed to deep fry in my house since I almost burned the house down once trying to make donuts. Can these be baked?

  42. 42

    Norma-Platanos, Mangoes & Me! — November 21, 2013 @ 10:02 am

    I found you blog and I really like it. I make these for parties..much fun…

  43. 43

    Norma-Platanos, Mangoes & Me! — November 21, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    I just started following you…my blog is you will also find many recipes like carne guisada, etc…

  44. 44

    Puerto Rican Dessert Recipe | Sweet City Desserts — March 30, 2014 @ 3:03 am

    […] It’s crispy outside and the inside is kept soft and moist. Mixed it up with garlicy ketchup, you’ll have one scrumptious dish. Recipe’s found in […]

  45. 45

    Gladys Nieves — May 11, 2014 @ 8:01 am

    You need to try it with hot chocolate in the evening, or with scramble eggs or tortilla. Also eat it with a sandwich with pastrami, Swiss cheese, mustard and cabagge

  46. 46

    Rosa R — December 29, 2014 @ 5:04 pm

    Even though some of the questions are old, I could not hold myself and not answer a couple. Sorullitos or sorullos (no, I did not misspelled the name) are done with what we Puertorricans call “Dutch cheese” typically edam cheese. This cheese is almost king at the island, served with appetizers, hot chocolate, etc. Same thing for “queso de papa” (potato cheese, which is really sharp cheddar cheese). Local cheeses like “queso blanco” or “queso de hoja” (white cheese and leaf cheese) are typically enjoyed with crackers and/or guava paste, and “queso de freír” (frying cheese) is well…fried and served as an appetizer all by itself.
    Arepas is a completely different thing, and though other countries have arepas, my understanding is that they are different to the ones from Puerto Rico. Arepas in PR are known as either “arepas” is the eastern part of the archipelago, or as “domplines” (from the word dumpling) in the south, consist of fried dough patties known in some Carribean islands as johnnycakes. My favorite ones are the ones made with coconut milk like the ones done in the island of Vieques.
    Something to keep in mind always, when talking about food from Latin America and the Carribean, is that names for food items as well as the dialects are so different from country to country and even from regions in the same country. Maybe somewhere else in the world what is known in Puerto Rico as sorullos is known as arepas.

  47. 47

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