I feel nothing says Puerto Rico to me like a good mofongo. I love it! It’s comforting and flavorful, if done right. It goes well with just about anything from seafood to creole style chicken. I love to put mofongo balls in my broth or any Puerto Rican soup. Something I found during my college days in Mayaguez, PR that a mofongo with broth and fried pork was a revitalizer after long nights. I loved growing up with stuffed mofongo or soup and mofongo. It’s a food that calls home in my heart.
The best mofongo and tostones are done with fresh plantains, freshly cut. I have found that they don’t need as much salt or adobo; the flavor is naturally savory when fried. But I haven’t seen or heard of plantain trees growing around this area of Texas. Hence, why I will recommend the second best, get the greenest plantains you can find when cooking mofongo… unless you like a bit of sweetness in your mofongo. If you do, feel free to add a plantain going yellow or a completely ripe plantain with a green one. We have done it sometimes and just like a tri-mofongo (yucca, ripe plantain and green plantain), the mix is pretty good.
I am sharing this recipe, but you can add your own spin. I hope you love it as much as I do. I find that 1 or 2 slices of bacon per mofongo are good, but when using cracklings maybe just 3 or 4 good crunchy ones. Be careful with the garlic because it can be overpowering sometimes.
- Cook the bacon and preserve the bacon fat.
- Peel, cut the plantain in cylinders, and place them with salt water to soak for 10 mins.
- While the plantain is soaking, finish cooking the bacon and place the bacon fat in a heat resistant cup to use later while smashing the plantains.
- Using a pilon or mortar and pestle, smash the bacon and place in a bowl for later.
- Using the same pilon, add the salt and garlic to it. Smash the garlic and salt until a paste is formed. Note: If you are like me and don't like salty food, keep the 1/8 tsp of salt. If you want a bit more salty flavor, then you can sprinkle salt while smashing the plantains and taste it until your licking.
- Heat oil in a frying skillet or pot in medium. Once oil is ready, put the plantain cylinders in the frying oil. It will take about 5 minutes each side. Take them out once they are tender. but cooked. You will notice a different feel when you touch them with a fork and a change of color.
- Once the plantains are cooked, place them inside the pilon and smash them with the garlic paste. While working the plantain, add the bacon pieces to the pilon and mix some more. Then add the bacon fat and continue mixing until all is well combined.
- If you would like the mofongo moister, particularly if re-heating later on, then add the chicken broth or salted water until you find it moist enough. I suggest add 1 tbsp at a time. I normally eat mofongo right away so do not add the broth unless I am keeping some for leftovers the next day.