Chochoyotes in Spring Salsa Verde with Asparagus, Spring Peas, and Goat Cheese

Source: Sophina Uong, Mestiza Taqueria

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on April 15, 2017.

Chochoyotes are small Mexican dumplings made from masa (stone-ground, nixtamalized cornmeal).

Makes 40 chochoyotes, about 4 hearty servings (with a bit of extra salsa and pickled onion)


Pickled Spring Onions
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 cups thickly sliced spring onions, whites only

Salsa Verde
2 pounds tomatillos
6 spring onions (1 cup chopped)
1 stalk spring garlic (¼ cup chopped)
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups water
1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 pound fresh masa
2½ tablespoons melted butter
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
Olive oil

Chochoyote Poaching Broth
3 bay leaves
4 slices lemon
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 gallon water

½ tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups snap peas, stemmed
4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
8 sprigs cilantro
8 sprigs chervil


To make the pickled onions: Bring the first 5 ingredients to boil in a non-reactive pot. Turn off the heat, add the onions, and set aside until the brine has completely cooled. Drain off the brine (which can be used again for pickling). The onions can be kept refrigerated for a few days, so this can be done ahead.

To make the salsa verde: Peel and wash the tomatillos. Cut them into quarters. Chop the spring onions and spring garlic. Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until they are quite wilted. Add the tomatillos, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until soft, about 12-15 minutes. Once the mixture has cooled a bit, purée it in a blender and strain through a mesh strainer. Set aside at room temperature.

To make and cook the chochoyotes: Place the masa in a large bowl and add the melted butter and salt. Work the dough until the butter is fully incorporated. Scoop tablespoon-size pieces of masa and roll them into balls, making an indentation in each with your finger. Combine the poaching broth ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil; add the chochoyotes and simmer until they float, about 15 minutes. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and set on a tray or in a pan, sprinkling with olive oil so they don’t stick together.

To prepare the vegetables: Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the snap peas to the pan and continue to sauté for another 2-3 minutes, until the vegetables are bright green and still have a good snap.

To serve: Ladle the salsa verde into shallow serving bowls, place the dumplings on top, and garnish with the sautéed asparagus and peas. Sprinkle with the goat cheese, a bit of pickled onion, and a few picked leaves each of cilantro and chervil.

Farmers Market Ingredients