Mofongo is an authentic dish in Puerto Rico and HFNTV had a chance to visit Millie’s Puerto Rican restaurant in Mesa, Arizona to see how Millie herself makes this delicious recipe. She uses several ingredients including; 2 plantains, one cup of bacon, a cup of chicharrón, some water with salt and a mix of olive oil and garlic.
Puerto Rican Mofongo
- 4 green plantains
- 1 lb chicharrón crunchy pork skin
- 3 garlic cloves mashed
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups frying oil
- Peel the plantains cut them into 1 1/2-inch slices, soak them in salty water for 15 minutes, drain them and dry them before putting them on the hot skillet with oil.
- Fry them for about 12 minutes at medium-low heat or until they turn light brown. Make sure to turn them. Do not brown them too much, so they are easy to mash. Stick a fork in them to check if they are done.
- Remove them and mash them on a mortar. Add some mashed garlic and pieces of chicharrón.
- Once you have mashed all the plantains, mold them into the shape of a half-sphere using your hands or a container. Serve hot with chicken broth or your favorite meat.
Clara Gonzalez, also known as Aunt Clara, is a Dominican chef and author. In her cookbook (Tradition Dominican cookery) claims that mofongo has a special place in the Dominicans’ hearts and stomachs but can be traced back to Puerto Rico. But she goes on to say that roasted plantains mashed garlic with chicharrón on the side may have been a pre mofongo and may have always been a part of Dominican gastronomic. These recipes come up in Dominican cookbooks in the 60’s. They are debunked due to older Puerto Rican cookbooks with roasted mashed plantains with garlic, lard, and pork.
Both countries, along with Cuba, share much in food, language, music and traditions. Cuban singer Celia Cruz sang a merengue titled “Pun pun catalu” about the similarities among the three islands. She mentions how mashed plantains with chicharrón is fufú in her native Cuba, mangú in Quisqueya (Dominican Republic) and mofongo in Boriken (Puerto Rico).
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