When we think of Puerto Rico we usually think of beautiful beaches, piña coladas, rum punch, great music and our Caribbean cuisine, of which mofongo is sometimes considered the star attraction.
Mo-fon-go por favor pero con mucho, mucho “chicharrón”. That is how I order my mofongo. Please with lots and lots of pork rind.
Every Puerto Rican restaurant has mofongo on the menu. It’s a must try for first time visitors who want to claim to have sampled the local fare. Mofongo is mashed fried green plantains into which a combination of seafood, meat, or vegetables can be added. It is also served as a side or a main course.
I like mine the old fashion way. Mashed with garlic a bit of olive
oil, salt and that artery clogging chicharrón. The best chicharrón comes from a town called Bayamón. These pork rinds, affectionally called “chicharrón de Bayamón” or “chicharrón volaó” are delicious. Here is a picture from one of my trips to Bayamón.
When I make this dish, which is not often, I make a big pot of stewed chicken so that I can use the stew to soak my mofongo.
How to peel a plantain:
There is a saying in Puerto Rico: Soy Puerto Riqueño porque tengo la mancha de platano = I am Puerto Rican because I have the stain of the plantain. When you are peeling the green plantain for this dish it always leaves your fingers stained. After washing your hands a few times the stain will go away.
You will need your “pilon” (mortar and pestle). Every Puerto Rican home owns one or two.
Mine is quite new…here comes another husband story. I owned about 6 different “pilones”. I had them given to me or inherited from an
aunt and one from my mom. I loved those two because they were already cured and mainly because they had history. I wanted to put them in storage while we were moving into our new condo. At the time I made boxes to donate to the church and the box that had to go to storage. I guess you can figure out what happened…yes he did… he gave them to the church. I ran to claim them, but they were all gone. Every time he sees me take out my “pilon” he quickly leaves the room. He gets the laser look and this has been going on for close to six years. Never mess with a Puerto Rican woman’s “pilon”.
Ingredients (makes two main and four sides):
3 green plantains
1/2 lb. fried pork rinds
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil for frying the plantains
Peel the plantains and slice into 2” rounds as shown above. Heat oil in a frying pan at medium-low heat. Oil should be hot, but not sizzling. The plantains should be cooked through, but not browned.
Drain your plantains on a paper towel. In your “pilon” add minced garlic equal to ½ a clove or a bit more depending on how much you like garlic, about 6 pieces of plantain, a teaspoon of olive oil and your pork skin. Begin to mash until all the ingredients are combined, the resulting mofongo is shaped into half spheres, according to the mortar or bowl. Once plated pour your gravy around the bowl.
Me gusta mofongo…mucho! Yours looks delicious and your pilon is beautiful…and I had to laugh at your ‘husband’ story. Nice post, great photos!
Thank you for the mofongo recipe, for the last three years I’ve been shopping at Hispanic markets that have popped up in my area (San Francisco east bay) which has introduced me to the wonderful “new world” of Latin American products. Thanks to this post I’ll soon buy plantains now that I know at least one way to prepare them. Freshly made chicharrons I’ve known about for a while which I guiltily enjoy as a out of hand snack and use in southern Italian breads, I know that they will also be fantastic as a key ingredient in mofongo. Again, thank you!
Thanks for the visit and come back soon!
I love mofongo, Norma! I really like the pictures.
Wow !!! First time I see this monfongo, and you have explained this so well….I understand your feeling about YOUR pilon…I have a similar story but with a little knife..Some day I will blog about that!! In Argentina we have a dish called “mondongo” sounds similar but it has nothing to do..It’s “callos a la Madrileña” in fact!
Dear Norma, This sounds delicious and also I love learning the history behind the meal.
The pictures are just beautiful. The story of your Pilon, well I know you miss the memories of your mom and aunt having given them to you I am sure, but at least there is comfort that they were donated to the church. My mom passed away so I understand. Whatever I use in my kitchen that belonged to her has much sentiment to it.
Thank you for trying my pork rib recipe and letting me know that you liked it. Blessings, Catherine
This sounds like one of those traditional dishes I would love to try Norma. Even one pilon would be welcome in my kitchen, but I did receive a mortar and pestle from a contest I won!
I think I like my mofongo the same way you like yours. All the way…
OMG…I’m salivating as I read this! I’m sure it was delicious.
Thanks for the instructions and pictures for peeling a platano…let’s just say when I tried in ONCE it did not work out (and I’m a platano! shame on me!). I think I’ll try it again now.
Miss you 🙂
ahhh si, con mucho, mucho “chicharrón” por favor!
Your new pilon is beautiful for what is worth! I hope it gets cured soon.
“He gets the laser look and this has been going on for close to six years. Never mess with a Puerto Rican woman’s ‘pilon.'”
Bwahaha! You crack me up, Norma! I can just imagine the “laser look.”
I have heard so much about mofongo from friends and other food blogs, but I’ve never tried it. It sounds and looks quite tasty, so I hope to sample it one day. I loved the photos in the post! Besos!
I’ve never had mofongo, but it sounds so yummy.
Wonderful photos Norma, the first one is extremely relaxing 🙂
Mofongo is new to me, I know I can’t believe it either:) But it sounds so delicious, your description and photos made my mouth water. Sorry to hear your hubby accidently gave away your pilones away, oops. Now yours will have to make history to pass on:)
Another new dish that I’d never heard of! Thanks Norma, I always learn something new when I read your blog! 🙂
I LOVE MOFONGO!!!!! My husband and I first tried it when we were in Puerto Rico and we were hooked! I also loved all the empanadas we had on the street…yum!
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How nice to be reminded of a dish that I love but haven’t enjoyed in years! Can’t think why! Thanks for posting this recipe, Norma. Great photos.
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What is the wonderful looking gravy with the mofongo in the picture? I’d love the recipe for it. Can you post it, please?
It’s from a dish that we call pollo guisado..stewed chicken…will be posting one day soon…thanks for the visit