Making Mofongo, like you own it, takes a pinch of attitude and handful of respect for the ancestors who came before you. While preparing this beloved Caribbean dish in your kitchen, remember that it’s been served for generations by ultra-fine people hailing from Africa who settled in the diaspora of Hispaniola in places like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Cuba.
For beginners, Mofongo is dish made of fried mashed green plantains with chicharrón (fried pork rind or pork cracklings) that is then shaped into a ball and served in a pilón (the mortar part of a pestle and mortar). It’s then topped with a garlicky broth to moisten the plantain and bring out the flavor. The African slaves who brought the recipe called it foo foo or fufu and made it in the same manner as Mofongo but used other mashed starchy vegetables other than plantains such as yams and cassava.
If pork cracklings are not your thing you can use crunchy bacon instead or you can also stuff the Mofongo with shrimp and other seafood.
You’ll need :
4 green plantains
1 lb of chicharrón (crunchy pork skin)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
4 teaspoons of olive oil
2 cups frying oil
First start by peeling the four plantains and cutting them into one and half-inch slices. Then, in a large bowl, soak the plantains in salty water for 15 minutes, and then drain and dry them. Next, preheat about two inches of oil in a frying pan before putting the plantains in the hot skillet with oil.
Fry the plantains at a medium to low heat until golden and tender, which will take approximately 10 minutes. Make sure to turn them over and avoid browning them too much so that they are easier to mash.
Remove the cooked plantains from the frying pan and allow them to drain on paper towels for a bit.
Put the garlic paste in a mixing bowl and then add the fried plantains. Mash until thoroughly blended, being sure it is neither too soft nor too hard so that it can form a half-sphere or be molded into the shape of a bowl.
Then add the pork rinds and continue to mash and mix it until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
At this point, shape the Mofongo into 4 balls with your hands and serve it hot.
Top with a garlicky and warm broth to moisten the plantain and bring out the flavor. Now smile and enjoy — you are now a Mofongo Boss.