International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Mofongo

Mofongo mashed plantains

(Puerto Rican, Dominican mashed plantains and pork cracklings)

Image Creative Commons by Arnold Gatilao

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Mofongo, a dish of garlicky mashed plantains, is one of the most popular dishes in Puerto Rico. It has clear roots in the fufu of West Africa. The classic way to serve mofongo is in the mortar (pilón) in which it was mashed.

In the last several decades, mofongo has been adopted by Dominicans and is now commonly found in Dominican restaurants and cookbooks.

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Green plantains, peeled and cut into rounds on the diagonal -- 4
  • Olive oil -- 3 tablespoons
  • Garlic, minced -- 3 to 5 cloves
  • Pork cracklings (chicharrones), crushed -- 1 cup
  • Salt -- to taste

Method

  1. Soak the plantain pieces in a bowl of salted water for 15 to 30 minutes. Drain well and pat dry.
  2. Heat the oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium flame. Working in batches, sauté the plantain slices until they are cooked through but not yet browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Add the plantains, garlic and a little bit of olive oil to a large mortar or bowl and mash with a pestle or potato masher until fairly smooth. Alternatively, pulse with a food processor. Stir in the pork cracklings and salt to taste.
  4. Using moistened hands, form into 3-inch balls or mound on a plate and serve warm.

Mofongo Variations

  • Mofongo Relleno (Stuffed mofongo): Serve mofongo covered with a ladleful of stews like pollo guisado, asopao de gandules or quimbombo guisado.
  • For a lower fat version, boil the plantains in salted water instead of sautéing them.
  • Add a little chicken or beef broth while mashing the plantains to make them a little moister.
  • If you can't find chicharrones in a market near you, substitute some crispy fried, finely chopped bacon.

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