If there's one thing that Puerto Ricans do best, it's fritters! Learn how to make these alcapurrias at home. The dough (masa) is filled with flavorful homemade picadillo (the meat filling), and the assembly plus frying process are easy!
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Why We Love This Recipe
As a savory over sweet kind of person, it’s no surprise how much I love the concept of deep fried, meat stuffed fritters.
What makes Alcapurrias unique to Puerto Rico lies not only in the super flavorful meat filling, but in the fritter dough itself.
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 they are 100% worth the work.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Nonstick cooking spray
For the Picadillo (filling):
For the Masa (dough):
- Green plantains, peeled and chopped into large pieces
- Taro or yucca root
- Achiote oil or olive oil
- Sazon seasoning
You will also need parchment paper to make the frying process easy.
See recipe card for exact measurements.
How to Make Alcapurrias (Step by Step Instructions)
Make the picadillo. Start with 4 tablespoon of sofrito in a hot pan over medium heat. Once fragrant, add in ground beef and simmer until beef is fully cooked. Add the tomato sauce and cook another 10 minutes. Add in olives and all seasonings and mix until evenly combined.
Make the masa. In your food processor, combine the yucca and plantain pieces and pulse until a smooth and consistent dough is formed. Add in the achiote oil and sazon and pulse a few more times to combine.
Tip: To prevent your hands from getting stained brown, use a pair of gloves when peeling and processing the plantains and yucca.
Prep the masa. Cut out squares of parchment paper. One at a time, spray a square with nonstick cooking spray, add a ½ cup scoop of the masa dough and spread out flat with a spatula.
Fill the alcapurrias. Next top the masa with a few small spoonfuls of the picadillo filling, making sure to add a small enough amount that you have a few inches of dough around all edges of the filling.
Close the fritters. Using the parchment paper & spatula, carefully fold the masa over the filling, spreading the edges until fully sealed and no picadillo is visible. Continue this process until you’ve used all of your dough and/or filling.
Fry. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed, wide mouthed pan. Fry the Alcapurria at 350 degrees over medium heat until golden brown and crisp all around. Cool on a paper towel lined plate and enjoy!
What to Eat with Alcapurrias
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.
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.