Mangu is a classic Dominican dish made with boiled and mashed green plantains that comes together in just 30 minutes. It's typically enjoyed as a breakfast, served with eggs, cheese, and sausage, and topped with pickled red onion.
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If you've ever had mofongo before, you might be wondering how mangu is any different?
And while Puerto Rican recipes definitely know how to celebrate plantains (we use them to make tostones, maduros, and more), this Dominican dish takes them in a very different, very delicious direction.
Mangu is a less heavy, mashed plantain dish that makes a hearty side dish, breakfast, or snack. As mentioned above, it's typical to enjoy this as a breakfast, paired with a few other classic sides that come together to make a meal traditionally called Los Tres Golpes.
Here is everything you'll want on your grocery list:
- Pickled red onions (keep reading for a DIY recipe)
- Green plantains
- Butter, softened to room temperature
- Water + additional water for boiling the plantains
- A pinch of salt
See recipe card for quantities.
Step by Step Instructions
Hint: Mangu is notorious for thickening as it cools, so make sure to add enough water to get the consistency just slightly thinner than you want it to be by the time you serve.
Mangu vs. Mofongo
As mentioned above, mofongo and mangu are two dishes from the Caribbean that are commonly confused.
This is likely because they are both made with mashed plantains.
That said, they are quite different in origin, taste, and texture. Mangu, a Dominican dish, is made with boiled green plantains and mashed with butter, resulting in a creamier, smoother texture.
Mofongo, on the other hand, has origins in Puerto Rico, and is made with deep fried green plantains, resulting in a crispier, crunchier texture. Mofongo is also usually mashed with chicharrones, which add to that salty, crunchy texture.
You will also notice significant differences in how they are served and what they are paired with.
Mofongo is usually paired with a saucy, savory topping like camarones guisados (stewed shrimp) or picadillo, while Mangu is typically paired with classic Dominican breakfast ingredients (keep reading for the details on those).
Making Your Own Pickled Onions
This topping for mangu is 100% necessary. The acidic bite really cuts through the starchy-ness of the plantains and richness from the butter.
Making pickled onions from scratch is so simple, I highly encourage taking a minute to throw them together before starting your mangu. They'll pickle while you cook, and be ready in time to enjoy your breakfast.
Many stores will carry them and they're available to buy online, but when all you need is 3 simple ingredients, why not do it yourself?
Here's how to do it:
- Start by mixing together a teaspoon of salt and a quarter a cup of vinegar in a bowl.
- Thinly slice half of a red onion and toss into the bowl with the salt and vinegar. Mix to coat and set aside to quick pickle.
Classic Dominican Pairings
Mangu is one of those dishes that has signature pairings when served in the Dominican. The key additions to transform a plate of mangu into Los Tres Golpes are:
- A side of fried white cheese (this recipe is perfect)
- Fried Dominican fried sausage
- A fried egg, sunny side up or over easy
And of course, you can't forget the pickled onions!
Non Traditional Pairings
If you're feeling like leaning into fusion, you could also top this with some Pique (Puerto Rico's hot sauce) or Mojo de Ajo (a Puerto Rican garlic sauce). The hot sauce helps to cut through the richness of the mangu, similarly to the pickled onions.
And like most breakfasts, this dish is complimented well with a cup of café con leche.
If you don't have the time or resources to source the Dominican sausage and frying cheese, you could instead opt for your favorite kind of breakfast sausage, skip the cheese, and instead enjoy it with eggs, whatever style you like.
There aren't any special tools needed to make this recipe.
Because mangu has a tendency to thicken significantly as it cools, it's best enjoyed fresh.
Any leftovers should be reheated with a splash of water to thin it as it heats. They should keep in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This recipe doesn't stand up well to freezing.