Coxinha, typically Brazilian


Coxinha, the most popular snack in Brazil!

Originally from São Paulo, coxinha (pronounced “ko-sheen-ya”), is a typically Brazilian snack, which as its name suggests (Coxinha meaning “little thigh” in Portuguese) has a shape similar to a chicken thigh. And for those who don’t like chicken, the choice of filling can be substituted for any other type of meat, such as corned beef. And here’s our recipe!

Preparing the meat

– 1 whole chicken
– 1 whole chopped onion
– Carrot
– Celery
– Green herbs (to taste)
– Garlic (to taste)
– Bay leaf (to taste)
– Pepper (whichever you prefer)
– 1 teaspoon of tomato extract
– 1 tin of peeled tomatoes
– 3 spoons of fresh cream
– Parsley (to taste)
– 1 teaspoon of potato starch (maisena) or maize starch


In a pressure cooker, put half the chopped onion, a piece of the carrot, some celery and begin to sauté. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cover with water and once the cooker begins to whistle, leave to cook for at least 20 minutes.

Next, let the pressure out of the cooker and check to see that the chicken has cooked through – if not, put the pan back on the heat for a few minutes and repeat the process. Once cooked, separate the chicken from the rest of the mixture and de-bone, before leaving it to cool. Strain the stock and put it to one side.

In a pan, sauté the other half of the chopped onion until golden colour and then add the garlic and pepper. Next, add the shredded chicken and the tin of peeled tomatoes, and cook for 10 minutes. Mix the potato starch into a teacup of the broth, then add to the pan and mix well for about five minutes. Add the cream and chopped parsley. Turn off the heat and leave to cool.


To get the filling (chicken or meat) nice and creamy, add a little cream cheese (ideally use Catupiry, a Brazilian brand) and mix well. If you want, you can use a dried-meat, such as beef jerky, instead of chicken. In this case, you’ll need to desalt the meat for about 3 hours, changing the water every hour. Once the meat is soft, chop into cubes of approximately 5cm and fry them in a little butter. Then, little by little put the meat in a blender, and keep blending until you have a mushy mass. At this point, fry it together with red onion, butter and coriander, then turn off the heat and leave to cool.

Preparing the dough

– 1 litre of chicken stock
– 1/2 block of butter (100g)
– Salt (to taste)
– Parsley (to taste)
– Approx. 1 kilo of wheat flour

Pour the remaining strained stock into a thick bottomed pan and place on low heat. Slowly sprinkle in the flour, mixing constantly so as to avoid the mixture becoming lumpy; eventually, you’ll have a thick, heavy mixture. When it is nice and consistent, add the butter, keep mixing until the dough becomes firm and separates from the sides of the pan. Turn off the heat and leave to cool.


– Breadcrumbs (ideally a Brazilian brand, Panko)
– Oil (for greasing your hands)
– 2 egg whites

You’ll need two bowls – one for the egg whites and the other for the breadcrumbs. Grease your hands and, with a soup spoon, make little balls out of the dough. Use your thumb to make indentations in them, so that they look like little soup bowls.

Add a teaspoon of filling to each ball. Use the remaining dough to read the lid to the coxinhas, moulding them into a raindrop shape. Dip them in the egg whites, then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process until you run out of dough.

Finishing touches

Heat some oil in a medium-depth pan, there needs to be enough oil for all the coxinhas to be equally submerged. It’s a good idea to fry about five at a time, so as not to break them. Once they are nice and golden, carefully remove them from the oil and let them dry on some kitchen paper. Fry all of the coxinhas and serve!

Interesting fact

In Brazil, chicken coxinhas are served almost everywhere, from specialist shops to bars and restaurants, as well as being a popular type of party food. And there’s no better accompaniment than a lovely cold beer!


About Author

Journalist, 45 years old, she has worked in radio, press offices and now has her own home-office based communications company, producing editorial schedules and reports for various publishers of automotive, business and insurance titles. She loves three things in life: dogs, cooking and hosting friends.