Yaroa: An Exquisite Dominican Dish

There are certain gastronomic experiences that we only have access to in the urban scene. Fast food has a charm that sometimes surpasses the most elaborate dishes . And it is that, although gourmet food is delicious, sometimes it causes us something simpler and slightly more greasy. Who has not been possessed from time to time by the craving for a hot dog, a hamburger or some fries?

For your joy, the recipe book of traditional Dominican dishes also includes one or another guilty pleasure. The gastronomy of the Dominican Republic is extremely varied, with delicacies perfect for all kinds of tastes . The Dominican yaroa is one of those “street foods” that you cannot miss on your visit to the island. Looking for a Caribbean delight with a modern twist? Here you have it!

Below we explain in great detail everything you need to know about this iconic dish.

Table of Contents

What is the dominican yaroa?

The Dominican yaroa is a tower of flavor without comparison, a dish that you can find in any street stall in the Dominican Republic. It consists of a layer of ripe plantains or fried potatoes, an exquisite meat cover and a snowfall of cheese, ketchup and mayonnaise.

The dominican yaroa is the ideal appetizer: simple but delicious . It’s not for nothing that it has earned an honorable mention on fast food menus across the island.Do you think we are exaggerating? Take a look at the search results linked to the hashtag “yaroa” on Instagram .

What is the origin of the dominican yaroa?

Compared to other traditional Dominican foods, the invention of the yaroa is rather recent. There are different sources, which attribute the authorship of this famous recipe to one or another individual.

However, what everyone agrees on is that the yaroa was born in the northern part of the Dominican Republic at the end of the 90s. To be more specific, in Santiago de los Caballeros, the second most important city in the country after Santo Domingo. .

There are those who say that the yaroa was invented by a young woman from Puerto Plata named Karina. Others debate that this delicacy was an invention of the brothers José and Oliver Toribio, owners of a fast food establishment called “Oché a tu liking”.

In both cases, the explanation behind the name “yaroa” is very similar . Apparently, both Oliver Toribio’s wife and young Karina come from an area of Puerto Plata named after that.Be that as it may, since the launch of the yaroa as the star dish of “Oché a tu liking”, it has become synonymous with nightlife in Santiago. At sunset, near the Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration, you will see more than one Dominican passing by towards this acclaimed restaurant. And you? Doesn’t it cause you a yaroa? Below we share the recipe .

Source: @cocina_tradicional_autentica

Dominican fries yaroa

The yaroa with fries is the traditional yaroa recipe, just as it emerged in Oliver Toribio’s kitchen. Legend has it that Oliver’s wife wanted to eat something different, and that this was the result of her husband’s experimentation.At first glance, the yaroa looks like a very elaborate dish , with a look reminiscent of lasagna. Luckily, its preparation is very simple. You just have to follow our instructions to the letter.

Source: @barrapayanrd



For the fries

  • 24 ounces (680 gr) of potatoes
  • ¾ tablespoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil

For the meat

  • 1 pound (454 g) ground beef
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 purple onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig of fresh coriander
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of salt


  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup of ketchup


of the potatoes

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into sticks.
  2. Place the potatoes in a glass container and impregnate them with the oil, salt, garlic and pepper. Mix well, making sure to distribute the spices and oil evenly .
  3. Arrange the potatoes on a baking tray and take them to the oven, which must be preheated to 175ºC. If you’re using an air fryer, set the temperature according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  4. Cook for 25 minutes, until golden brown and crisp around the edges.

Of meat

  1. Pour the oil into a large cauldron and heat over medium heat. Next, add the diced onion and wait for them to turn translucent. Also add the garlic, stir and cook for 1 minute .
  2. Add the ground beef to the skillet, mix well with the garlic and onion, and cook until browned. Finally, add the tomato sauce, bell pepper, salt, and black pepper.
  3. Cover and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Once the time has passed, remove from the stove.


  1. Divide the potatoes into 4 portions and serve each portion on a separate plate.
  2. Cover the potatoes with a good amount of meat.
  3. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese on top. If the heat of the meat is not enough to melt the cheese, microwave for 90 seconds.
  4. Finally, decorate with a few touches of ketchup and mayonnaise. Ready! To eat!

Dominican yaroa with ripe plantain

After the classic yaroa recipe, the plantain one is the second most popular. The essence of the dish is the same, but instead of fries a ripe plantain puree is used . Here we share the secrets of this delicacy.

Source: @_masterpizza64



For the bananas

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the meat and toppings

  • It has the same ingredients as the previous recipe. Gouda cheese can also be used instead of mozzarella and cheddar cheese.


The preparation of the ripe plantain yaroa is almost identical to that of French fries. For the cooking of the meat and the plating you can follow the same steps that we indicated above. As for the plantains, all you have to do is peel them, cut them in half and cook them in salted water. Then, wait until they are soft, strain them and crush them.

Source: @el_cafecito_de_la_negra


In order to facilitate the process and help you prepare the perfect dominican yaroa, we have put together a series of practical tips for you.

  • Adding a teaspoon of water to ketchup and mayonnaise makes them easier to pour. On the other hand, this helps both dressings to merge and not overshadow the other flavors.
  • Do you prefer to serve the yaroa without portioning and for everyone to take their portion? Using a baking pan, you can layer the fries or mashed plantains, interspersing with the meat and cheese. Cover the last layer with extra cheese and take it to the oven for a few minutes . Add the seasonings and that’s it, the result will be a kind of lasagna or the most delicious pastry.
  • For the French fries yaroa, rousset potatoes or other types of floury potatoes are the best option. You can also use pre-cut potatoes, but they may not be as crisp.

Nutritional information

Dominican yaroa is a dish with a high caloric value, with approximately 1104 kilocalories. It is also high in saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol. Taking this into account, its excessive consumption is not recommended.

As the saying goes, “once a year never hurts”. However, it is important to be aware of the possible health consequences that can come with indiscriminate consumption of this preparation. If you have any dietary restrictions, consult your medical nutritionist before giving in to the craving.

Other alternatives

The dominican yaroa is a very versatile dish that adapts to all types of palates. The potato yaroa and the ripe plantain yaroa are just two of the most famous versions of this dish. However, this recipe can also be made using celery or sweet potatoes.

Similarly, many Dominicans like to mix ingredients . The “mixed” yaroa, a delicacy with plantains and French fries, is one of the diners’ favorites.

A slightly more fitness option is to cook the yaroa in an air fryer, using celery instead of potatoes and eliminating ketchup and mayonnaise. As you can see, the yaroa offers its culinary pleasures to everyone. Would you like to know more recipes? On the My Wife’s Creations YouTube channel you will find a guide to making a delicious chicken yaroa. Likewise, you can also watch the video tutorial for El Sazón de Mika . Enjoy!


Food is a perfect excuse to travel and share, as well as a good way to get to know different cultures. At YourDominicanGuide we are passionate about promoting and facilitating this type of experience. The Dominican Republic is a jewel of the Caribbean that you cannot miss. It is a country full of paradisiacal beaches, fantastic hotels and delicious delicacies. Would you like to visit us? Plan your trip with us!

Did you like this article and want to know more about Dominican gastronomy? Be sure to take a look at the Related Articles section at the bottom of the page. In the same way, we invite you to take a walk through our Food and Drinks section and our section on Things to Do in the Dominican Republic . Thanks for reading us!


  1. El Fogoncito (August 27, 2011). The true Yaroa Santiago . https://elfogoncito.net/2019/12/17/la-verdadera-yaroa/
  1. Medina G and Tellerías A (September 14, 2007). Yaroa, urban recipe . Listin Diario. https://listindiario.com/la-vida/2007/09/14/28697/yaroa-receta-urbananbsp
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