Traditional Plantain Mofongo

Traditional Puerto Rican mofongo

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
620 Calories
34g Fat
57g Carbs
28g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 620
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 43%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 911mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 21mg 103%
Calcium 21mg 2%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 902mg 19%
*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.)

Plantain mofongo is thought to originate in Puerto Rico, and is a dish made from fried green (unripe) plantains mashed together with garlic and crackling pork rinds, also known as chicharrón. To make mofongo, the plantains are sliced and fried until tender, and then mashed with garlic paste and pork cracklings. The mixture can either be formed into balls or a half-dome shape. Mofongo is traditionally mashed in a mortar and pestle, but you can use a potato masher if you don't have one.

This plantain recipe most likely stems from African cuisine—enslaved people brought a dish called foo foo or fufu to the Caribbean, which is made in the same manner from various mashed starchy vegetables, such as yams, cassava, and plantains. There are also similar mashed plantain dishes from the other Spanish-speaking islands; Cuba has fufu de plátano and The Dominican Republic has mangú.

Mofongo is a side dish as well as the main course, especially when it is stuffed with meat or seafood. It can be accompanied by a protein, such as chicken or shrimp, and beans and rice, but is also often presented in a bowl with a broth poured over the top. The Puerto Rican dish is also served directly out of the mortar.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

  • 3 medium green, unripe plantains

  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste

  • 6 ounces pork rinds or cracklings, crushed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for traditional mofongo
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a frying pan or deep fryer to 350 F.

    Two inches of oil in a frying pan
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. While the oil is heating up, peel the plantains and cut into 1-inch rounds.

    Chopped plantain
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. Fry the plantains until golden and tender. This will take approximately 4 to 6 minutes.

    Plantains frying in a pan
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Remove cooked plantains from the pan or fryer and allow to drain on paper towels.

    Fried plantain drying on a paper towel
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  6. Put the garlic paste in a mixing bowl or mortar and add the fried plantains. Mash until thoroughly blended.

    Garlic paste in mortar
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  7. Add the pork rinds. Continue to mash and mix until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.

    Pork rinds added to mashed plantain and garlic paste
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  8. Shape the mofongo into 4 balls.

    Shape into four balls
    The Spruce Eats/Ulyana Verbytska
  9. Alternatively, you can make the mofongo into a half-dome shape using a small condiment bowl as a mold; push a portion of mofongo down to the bottom of the bowl.

    Mush in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats/Ulyana Verbytska

  10. With the back of a spoon, smooth over and level off the mix.

    Flatten

    The Spruce Eats/Ulyana Verbytska

  11. Then use the spoon to scrape around the bowl and remove the mash in a half-dome shape.

    Half dome

    The Spruce Eats/Ulyana Verbytska

  12. Serve the mofongo hot and enjoy.