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Pollo Mofongo, El Balcon Del Moreno | © Eden Hensley Silverstein/ Flickr
Pollo Mofongo, El Balcon Del Moreno | © Eden Hensley Silverstein/ Flickr

A Brief History of the Puerto Rican Dish Mofongo

Picture of Mariela Santos
Updated: 30 April 2017

Puerto Rico has a rich culinary scene influenced by a variety of cultures. Mofongo is one of many dishes popular in Puerto Rico that people can enjoy from restaurants and food trucks. Read below for more about mofongo’s history and how the dish is prepared.

A predecessor of mofongo came from West and Central Africa, and was brought to Puerto Rico with the slave trade, according to Gozamos. The main ingredient is the green plantain. Stuffed mofongo, called mofongo relleno, can include chicken, beef, shrimp, or vegetables, among other options. Mofongo is similar to plantain-based dishes in the Dominican Republic and Cuba’s “fufu.”

To cook standard mofongo, follow the instructions below, courtesy of Gozamos:

Ingredients:
(Plaintains with Pork Rinds)
3 green plaintains
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb. Crisp fried pork rinds
4 cups water
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
Optional: fried bacon, lard or vegetable oil

Directions:
1. Peel plaintains. Cut into one inch slices. Soak for 15 minutes in salt and water. Drain well.
2. Heat fat or oil (350 degrees if you are using a deep fryer). Add plaintain slices and fry for 15 minutes but do not brown. Drain on paper towel.
3. In a mortar (for pounding), crush garlic cloves and sprinkle with salt, add olive oil to the mixture and keep pounding.
4. Crush a portion of the fried plaintains slices and the pork. Add some of the garlic and olive oil mixture and keep pounding.
5. Spoon the mixture and shape into two inch balls. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you use all the ingredients.
6. Place in oven pan and keep warm until you are ready to serve.

Notable eating establishments that serve mofongo in Puerto Rico include Platos in Isla Verde, El Jibarito in Old San Juan, Grand Marnier in Aguada, Sancho Panza in Mayaguez, and Casajú in Juncos.