Alcapurria are popular Puerto Rican fritters, made with yucca and plantains, stuffed with picadillo, and fried to perfection.
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The BEST Puerto Rican fritters, ever.
If there’s one thing that Puerto Ricans do best, it’s fritters.
These delicious fritters are one of the many dishes that made me fall in love with my Puerto Rican heritage on a deeper level. As a savory over sweet kind of gal, it’s no surprise how much I love the concept of deep fried meat fritters.
What makes Alcapurria unique to Puerto Rico lies not only in the super flavorful picadillo (meat filling), but in the fritter dough itself.
Ingredients you’ll need
This is one of those dishes where you’ll either have to find a local Latin market, or do a bit of digging to find all the necessary ingredients. I promise it’s 100% worth the work.
Here’s what you’ll need...
For the Sofrito: (get the recipe here)
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup cilantro (you can also use ½ cup of culantro if you have it!)
- 1 jalapeno (optional)
For the Masa (dough):
- 4 large green plantains, peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 2 lbs yucca (also known as taro root)
- 1 tsp sazon with achiote
- Nonstick cooking spray
For the Picadillo (filling):
- 4 tbsp sofrito
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tsp adobo seasoning
- ½ cup pimento stuffed olives, sliced
- 2 tsp sazon with achiote
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cumin
- 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
How to make Alcapurria dough (masa)
While finding the ingredients to make the dough can feel like a journey in itself, making the dough for Alcapurria (also known as Masa) is actually quite simple.
Using a food processor helps process the dough and brings it all together in under 15 minutes.
Start by prepping the plantains and yucca (also known as taro root). If you've never worked with yucca before, this video helped me learn how to peel and process the root easily.
Peel the veggies and chop into medium sized pieces before adding to your food processor and pulsing until a consistently smooth dough is formed.
Add in your seasonings before pulsing a few more times to incorporate.
And just like that, you’ve made your Masa!
How to make Picadillo (the delicious meat filling)
If you’re no stranger to Salima’s Kitchen, you know that picadillo is one of my favorite things in the whole world.
It’s a dangerously delicious mix of sofrito, tomato, seasoned ground beef and pimento stuffed olives. So basically all of my favorite savory flavors combined.
Making it starts with building a super flavorful base with sofrito. Once the sofrito becomes fragrant in a pan over medium heat, add in the tomato sauce and ground beef.
At this point it’s up to you if you’d like to add diced potatoes or not, I am not super into this addition so I choose to leave them out. If you do decide to add them, continue to cook until the potatoes and meat are fully cooked.
From there, add the chopped pimento olives and all of the seasonings. Just like that, you’ve got a delicious pan of picadillo. Best of luck with not eating the entire contents of the pan before assembling your Alcapurria and frying!
I’ve tested out freezing Alcapurria before frying a few times and I can confirm that this method will work 👍
The biggest difference to note when frying at room temperature vs. frying from frozen is that the cook time will vary.
Thankfully the picadillo meat is already fully cooked, so once the Masa appears golden brown, you’re good to pull them out and cool on a paper towel as usual.
Air fryer ideas
While I haven’t experimented with air frying these just yet, I’m pretty certain that it would be a bit of a mess due to the consistency of the dough.
I think the best approach to air frying your Alcapurria would be to freeze them first, and then air fry at around 375 until golden brown and crispy on the outside.