Classic Mofongo Recipe
Welcome back to our Plantain Recipe Series. Today we dive into another classic: MOFONGO! This fried garlicky mash made with fried plantains is comfort food at its finest. Eat it as a side or top it with a protein like fresh lobster in a garlic white wine sauce. It’s even more delicious than it sounds!
The origins of mofongo can be traced back to fufu – a dish made out of boiled, mashed yams that was prepared by the West African Yoruba people.
These ethnic groups that populated Puerto Rico used the technique of a mallet to mash large amounts of starchy foods. The mash was then softened with liquids and fats. The word “mofongo” stems from the Angolan Kikongo term mfwenge-mfwenge, which means “a great amount of nothing at all.” To us, it’s a great amount of deliciousness.
In contemporary Puerto Rico, mofongo can be made from yuca, breadfruit and other tubers, but the classic recipe is made with fried green plantains and softened with stock, butter or oil. It has become a quintessential dish in Puerto Rican cuisine, one that you must try when on the Island.
See below for the classic (and best!) mofongo to bring a bit of Puerto Rico into your home.
- 8-10 pieces 1” sliced Green Plantains, fried
- 1 tsp. Garlic, minced
- 2 oz. Chicken Stock
- 1 tbsp. Butter or Oil (Additional Oil for Frying)
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Chopped Cilantro For Garnish
- Bacon Bits
- “Chicharrones” (Pork Rinds)
To peel a plantain, cut both ends and make 2-3 scores on the skin lengthwise. With your fingers or carefully using a butter knife, peel the skin off the plantain. Once all the skin is removed, you are ready to cut the plantain in 1” slices (the width depends on how thin/crispy you want the end product; the thinner the slice, the crispier the result).
- Deep fry the 1” slices of plantains until they are golden on the outside and tender on the inside (about 5-8 minutes). Don’t crowd the pan – do separate batches if necessary. Remove plantains from oil.
- Add the fried plantains into a “Pilón” (a mortar and pestle) along with the garlic, stock, butter and seasoning.
- Mash all the ingredients until smooth in texture and fully incorporated. (If the mofongo feels too tough, add more stock!)
If making stuffed mofongo, create a dome with a center “pocket” to add the protein of your choosing (ex. chicken, steak, pork, seafood, etc.). Top it with a garlic sauce or a “criolla” sauce (tomato sauce).
You could also make mofongo balls and serve them as sides.
And next time you’re visiting the Puerto Rico, be sure to sign up for one of our food tours during which you’ll sample delicious mofongo! Choose from our food tours in Old San Juan, Santurce or work with us to craft a customized experience for you.
Recipe By Chef Daniela Sofía Rivera
Pictures by Spoon Food Tours