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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If you love delicious Puerto Rican recipes, you probably love Mofongo. Similar to other classic side dishes like maduros or tostones, it's nearly impossible to visit a Puerto Rican restaurant or household without trying this plantain based dish.
Due to the neutral flavor of plantains and subtle seasoning of salt (from the pork rinds) and garlic, mofongo is another classic Puerto Rican side dish recipe to pair with just about anything savory and/or saucy.
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.
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.
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:
- 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 plantains for this 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.
Some of my favorite toppings:
- a squeeze of lime juice
- warm chicken broth
- camarones guisados
When I don't have time to make a fancy topping, I 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.
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!
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.
Traditional Puerto Rican Mofongo (25 Minutes!)
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!
- 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
- 3 cups vegetable oil
- 3 green plantains
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 1 cup chicharrón (crispy pork skin)
- lime juice or vinegar
- olive oil
- chicken broth
- camarones guisados
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
Keywords: Mofongo, Puerto Rican Mofongo
Cant wait for the camarones recipe to make with this!
It's coming next month! Thanks Steven.
Need to try this without the chicharrones but loved it nonetheless
I've tried it without them before; the texture is not as crunchy but still great flavor.
Where did you get that wooden mortar and pestle?
It was my mom's! I believe she got it in Puerto Rico but I'm not 100% sure.
Awesome recipe. I love plaintains but use an air-fryer instead of a frying pan. Maybe not as crispy but taste fried.
Can I use a blender to mash it up? Just wondering
I haven't tried using a blender but I think a food processor should work, try pulsing gently until you get the desired texture.