Mofongo is a popular Puerto Rican dish made with fried green plantains mashed with chicharrones (crispy pork skin) and garlic. It's traditionally served with a red shrimp sauce (camarones guisados) or chicken broth, and makes a super delicious side dish.
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Due to the neutral flavor of plantains and subtle seasoning of salt (from the pork rinds) and garlic, mofongo makes a classic side dish to just about anything savory and/or saucy.
The grocery list to make mofongo is surprisingly simple. Here's what you'll need:
- vegetable oil for frying the plantains
- green plantains
- garlic cloves
- chicharrón (crispy pork skin)
- lime juice
- chicken broth
- camarones guisados
See recipe card for quantities.
Start by heating your oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat. While your oil is heating, prep the plantains by peeling them and slicing into 1 inch thick slices.
Once the oil is hot, gently add in the plantain slices and fry until golden brown and cooked through, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cooking them through should take about 10 minutes, continuing to move them around in the oil occasionally so they cook evenly.
Once fully cooked, remove them from the oil and dry on a paper towel lined plate.
In a large bowl or your mortar and pestle, add the garlic and chicharrones and mash (using the back of a wooden spoon if you don't have a mortar and pestle). Add the fried plantain slices and mash them in with the garlic and pork rinds.
To serve, fill a small bowl with mofongo and flip onto a plate, to get that perfect dome-like shape. Top with cilantro, lime juice and serve with chicken broth or camarones guisados (shrimp in red sauce).
Although Mofongo 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:
- crunchy puffed onion chips
- these impressively plant based pork rinds
- this fun vegan recipe for rice paper 'pork' rinds
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!
There are a few ways you can have fun and adapt this mofongo recipe. Here are some ideas:
- Spicy - these days, there are so many differernt flavors of pork rinds at the store! trying out different flavors of chicharrones results in a variety of different flavors of mofongo. I like using anything chili, garlic or lime flavored.
- Deluxe - take your mofongo to a new level with all of your favorite toppings. I'm thinking guacamole, chimmichurri, or even a heap of leftover pernil if you've got it!
- Kid friendly - honestly, this dish 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 chicharrones, here's my favorite brand to use.
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 mofongo, 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.
More Plantain Recipes
If you love plantains as much as me, this list of 5+ of my favorite recipes using them is a great place to find inspiration for any leftovers you have hanging around!
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.