Mofongo is a popular Puerto Rican side dish made with fried green plantains mashed by hand together with chicharrones (crispy pork skin) and fresh garlic. It’s traditionally served with a red shrimp sauce (camarones guisados) or chicken broth, and makes for a super delicious side. Because of the crispy texture from the pork rinds, it’s best enjoyed fresh!

mofongo on a plate

If you enjoy plantains and Classic Puerto Rican recipes, you probably know and love Mofongo.

Similar to other classic side dishes like maduros, tostones, or these easy plantain fries, it’s nearly impossible to visit a Puerto Rican restaurant or household without trying this plantain based dish.

Serve it with warm broth, Sancocho, Camarones Guisados, or Bistec Encebollado for a complete meal.

What Does Mofongo Taste Like?

Mofongo has a somewhat neutral flavor, thanks to the fried green plantains and subtle seasoning of salt (from the pork rinds) and garlic, making it the perfect side dish recipe to pair with just about anything savory and/or saucy.

Because of the simple ingredients and directions, it’s a dish that is often confused with the popular Dominican mashed plantains, mangu.

Ingredients

The grocery list to make this mofongo recipe is surprisingly simple. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • vegetable oil for frying the plantains
  • green plantains
  • garlic cloves
  • chicharrón (crispy pork skin) 

See recipe card for quantities.

bowls of oil, chicharrones, garlic, and plantains

Instructions

Get detailed instructions on how to peel a plantain!

Tip: if things feel too dry before serving, you can add a few tablespoons of warm water, mayonnaise, or butter (softened to room temperature) and continue to mash.

mofongo on a plate

Vegan & Vegetarian Substitutes

Although Mofongo Puerto Rico is made primarily from plantains, the use of chicharrones means it is not vegetarian, plant based or vegan.

If you or someone you’re feeding needs a substitute to make this dish accessible, I recommend using your favorite puffed and crunchy snack food. This isn’t traditional by any means, but it should do the trick in the texture and flavor department!

Here are some of my favorite (yet totally unorthodox) substitutions for chicharrones:

If none of the above ideas sound realistic to you, just omit the chicharrones and add a pinch of salt or two. Yes, it will compromise the texture slightly, but the flavor from the fried plantains and garlic will satisfy the mofongo craving!

Variations

There are a few ways you can have fun and adapt this mofongo recipe. Here are some ideas:

  • Flavored Chicharrónes – There are so many different flavors of pork rinds at the store! Trying out different flavors of chicharrónes results in a variety of different flavors of plantain and chicharrón mash. I like using anything chili, garlic or lime flavored.
  • Add Chicken Broth – If you want a creamier consistency, feel free to mash your mofongo with chicken broth. Just a splash will loosen things up and add some additional flavor to the recipe.
  • Kid friendly – This Puerto Rican plantain mash is usually a kid favorite without any modifications. It doesn’t need any adapting to be ‘kid-friendly’, but adding your kiddos favorite toppings will certainly help get them excited about it!

If you’re on the hunt for chicharrónes, here’s my favorite brand to use.

fried plantains in a mortar & pestle

Equipment

When frying plantains, make sure to use a heavy bottomed, good quality frying pan. I like to use my AllClad pans or anything made with cast iron.

When it comes to mashing up the plantains for this Puerto Rican mofongo recipe, I’m a sucker for an extra large mortar and pestle. That said, it can totally be done without one, just use a large bowl and the back of a wooden spoon.

cilantro oil in a jar

Toppings

Some of my favorite easy toppings for this mashed plantain dish:

  • cilantro
  • a squeeze of lime juice 
  • warm chicken broth

And if you have the time, these classic saucy Puerto Rican recipes are delicious spooned over your plantain and chicharrón mash:

I also like topping mine with a simple cilantro sauce (pictured above).

Just blend together a small handful of cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice or splash of vinegar, garlic, and olive oil.

mofongo on a plate

More Plantain Recipes

If you love plantains as much as me, I have a list of 5+ of my favorite recipes using them that is a great place to find inspiration for any leftovers you have hanging around!

Storage

Mofongo can keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. That said, because of the crispy texture from the pork rinds, it’s best to enjoy it fresh.

Happy cooking!

Salima written in cursive
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mofongo on a plate

Traditional Puerto Rican Mofongo (25 Minutes!)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
  • Method: Fried
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, Latin
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Learn how to make homemade Puerto Rican mofongo with this quick and easy recipe – a delicious dish with green plantains, chicharrones, and lots of garlic!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 green plantains
  • 45 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chicharrón (crispy pork skin)

Optional toppings: 

  • cilantro
  • lime juice or vinegar
  • olive oil
  • chicken broth
  • camarones guisados


Instructions

  1. Prep the plantains. Start by heating your oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat. While the oil is heating, prep the plantains by peeling and slicing them into 1 inch slices. 
  2. Fry the plantains. Once the oil is hot, gently add in the plantain slices and fry until golden brown and cooked through (about 10 minutes), making sure to move them around in the oil occasionally so they cook evenly. Once they are cooked, remove from the oil and dry on a paper towel lined plate. 
  3. Mash the mofongo. In a large bowl or mortar and pestle add the garlic cloves and chicharrón and mash (using the back of a wooden spoon if you don’t have a mortar and pestle). Add in the fried plantain slices and mash those in with the garlic and pork rinds. 
  4. Serve. To serve, fill a small bowl with your mofongo and flip onto a plate, to get that perfect dome-like shape. Top with a blend of cilantro, vinegar, and olive oil and serve with chicken broth or camarones guisados (shrimp in red sauce).

Notes

  • Tip: if things feel too dry after mashing, you can add a few tablespoons of warm water, mayonnaise, or butter (softened to room temperature) and continue to mash.
  • For an easy sauce combine 2 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil, ¼ cup cilantro and 2 tsp lime juice or vinegar, blend with an immersion blender and enjoy.