Easy Caribbean Alcapurrias

Alcapurrias recipe

​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
148 Calories
5g Fat
15g Carbs
12g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 148
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 894mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 12g
Calcium 15mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A favorite appetizer in the Caribbean, the recipe for alcapurrias is to follow, so anyone can make them at home. These tasty delights are ground beef-filled fried fritters made from a mixture of grated yautía (taro root) and green bananas.

Vendors sell alcapurrias at street-side stands and grills throughout the Caribbean islands, though they're best known as a Puerto Rican food. You can easily change the recipe up by using ground chicken, turkey, or pork or using a varying of your sofrito recipe. For a luxury version, stuff the alcapurrias with Cuban picadillo, a spiced, tomato-flavored ground beef. 

Ingredients

  • For the Masa Dough
  • 5 medium bananas (green)
  • 1 pound yautía (taro root)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • For the Filling
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon sofrito
  • 1 tablespoon alcaparrado (mix of olives, pimientos, and capers)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Caribbean alcapurrias dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and frying.

Make the Masa

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for masa
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  2. Peel the green bananas and peel and wash the yautías.

    Peel the green bananas
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt 
  3. Place both in a bowl of cold salted water.

    Place both in bowl
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  4. Remove the bananas and yautías from the water and grate them into a medium bowl. To make it easier, you can also use a food processor.

    Remove bananas
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  5. Add salt and mix well. Set aside.

    Add salt
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for filling
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  2. In a deep pot or frying pan, brown the ground beef. Drain off the fat.

    Brown beef
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  3. Add sofrito, alcaparrado mix, salt, and pepper, to taste. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes.

    Add sofrito
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

    Remove from heat
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Fry the Alcapurrias

  1. On a piece of waxed paper, spread out 1 to 2 tablespoons of the masa mixture and make a shallow well in the center. You can also use the palm of your hand instead of waxed paper.

    Masa on wax paper
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  2. Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of the filling into the well.

    Filling
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  3. Cover it with a little more masa mix.

    Cover with masa
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  4. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the masa all around the filling so no meat is showing. You can freeze the alcapurrias at this point if you would like to fry and eat them later.

    Smooth masa
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  5. In a fryer or deep frying pan, heat enough oil to cover the alcapurrias when frying. The oil should be heated to about 360 F.

    Heat oil
    ​The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  6. Add the alcapurrias, being careful not to splash the oil or crowd the fryer.

    Fry
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  7. Fry until crispy and golden, from 5 to 7 minutes.

    Fry until crispy
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  8. Drain the alcapurrias on paper towels.

    Drain on paper towels
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  9. Allow to cool before eating.

    Allow to cool
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  10. Serve and enjoy!

    Serve
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt