Easy Caribbean Alcapurrias

Easy Caribbean Alcapurrias on a platter

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
270 Calories
8g Fat
41g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 270
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 878mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 13mg 65%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 958mg 20%
*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.

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Ingredients

For the Masa Dough

  • 5 medium green bananas

  • 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

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

Make the Masa

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Masa ingredients on a marble counter

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Peel the green bananas and peel and wash the yautías.

    Peel the green bananas and the yautías

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Place both in a bowl of cold salted water.

    bananas and yautías in a large white bowl with water

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  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.

    bananas and yautías mixture in a food processor

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Add salt and mix well. Set aside.

    bananas and yautías mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Filling ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. In a deep pot or frying pan, brown the ground beef. Drain off the fat.

    Beef cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Add sofrito, alcaparrado mix, salt, and pepper, to taste. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes.

    Beef with sofrito, alcaparrado mix, salt, and pepper cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

    Filling mixture in a pan with a wooden spatula

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Fry the Alcapurrias

  1. On a piece of wax 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 wax paper.

    Masa mixture on wax paper

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of the filling into the well.

    Filling on top of the masa mixture on wax paper

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Cover it with a little more masa mix.

    Masa mixture on top of filling and masa on wax paper

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  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.

    Masa mixture around the filling on top of wax paper

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  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.

    Oil in a pot with a thermometer

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Add the alcapurrias, being careful not to splash the oil or crowd the fryer.

    Alcapurrias frying in a pot of oil

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Fry until crispy and golden, from 5 to 7 minutes.

    Alcapurrias on a spoon and frying in a pot of oil

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Drain the alcapurrias on paper towels. Allow to cool a bit before eating.

    Easy Caribbean Alcapurrias on a paper towel lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma