Puerto Rican-Inspired Green Plantain Mash (Mofongo)

November 24, 2012 in Categories: , , by

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Mofongo is a traditional fried plantain-based dish from Puerto Rico. It is typically made with fried green plantains mashed together in a wooden mortar and pestle, with broth, garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings or bits of bacon. It is often filled with vegetables, chicken, crab, shrimp, or beef and is often served with fried meat and chicken broth soup.

This version of mofongo is a fantastic paleo mashed potato replacement.  Delicious and starchy, but also with a relatively neutral flavor, it would go well beside just about anything.  I would even fry up leftovers with eggs for breakfast.

I must thank Gloria for sending me the base recipe for Cuban kufu (and her suggested modifications for mofongo) for me to work from to put together this absolutely awesome starchy side dish.  You will not miss mashed potatoes any more! (As an aside, kufu is the same dish made with ripe plantains.  It has a very different flavor, but worth a try if you’re like me and are on a plantain kick! The only difference is that the ripe plantains don’t take as long to cook.)

Green plantains are fairly starchy, but if you can handle starches then this recipe is AIP-friendly.

Puerto Rican Inspired Green Plantain Mash Mofongo


  • 3 green plantains (also called raw bananas)—the greener, the better!
  • 6 oz bacon
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • (extra bacon grease, lard, or butter may be used to make a thinner mash)
  1. Peel plantains and cut into 1” semi-circles.  I made that sound too easy.  Peeling green plantains can be an exercise in frustration.  Cut in half lengthwise and then in half crosswise.  Get your thumbs under the peel and pry off.  If the peel breaks, use a paring knife to cut off whatever is stuck on.
  2. Place plantains into a pot with 2” of water.  Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to maintain a simmer.  Simmer covered until plantains are tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cut bacon into small pieces (I like a pair of scissors for this job).  Dice onion finely and finely chop garlic.
  4. Add bacon to a cold frying pan then turn on the heat to medium high.  Cook bacon 5 minutes, then add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally.  Continue cooking until bacon is crisp and onion is soft and caramelized.
  5. Drain plantains when they are finished cooking, but keep the cooking liquid! (I like to drain into a large pyrex measuring cup).
  6. Add ½ cup cooking liquid back to the plantains.  Mash with a wire potato masher to your desired consistency.  Add bacon, onion, garlic and all of the grease from the pan.  Stir to incorporate.
  7. If you like a thinner mash, you can either add more of the cooking liquid or you can add additional bacon grease (or substitute lard or butter).  Mofongo tends to get thicker as it sits, so if you have any leftovers, you will likely want to add some liquid to them before reheating.
  8. Enjoy!

Watch this video from my YouTube Channel to learn more about green plantains:


Very tasty, surprisingly similar texture to potato mash… and so good combination of flavours, wouldn’t change a thing 😉 Thanks

This was great!!! The flavor was sooo good. Mine were a bit gluey, but I think I did not boil the plantains in enough water, so the cooking liquid was so very starchy. I will definitely try them fried up with some eggs on top! THANK YOU!!

Delicious with other flavors of Cuba: oregano, cumin, bay leaves. I also usually add other veggies at hand… squash cooked until soft, greens from our garden. Also, this is fab for breakfast with eggs on top, for those who do eggs.

As a Hashimoto’s sufferer, new to the AIP, this recipe is an absolute lifesaver! I can’t get plantains in rural Oxfordshire(or at least not the great big ones I used to see in the shops in London when I lived there) but I can buy ‘ripen at home’ very green bananas not sure if they’re the same thing? I had to leave out the garlic because I know my stomach doesn’t like it, but even just with onion, salt and pepper, it’s amazing. I have just made a batch to keep in the fridge for the next couple of days. Thanks so much for this one!

The Dominican version is mongu (not sure of the spelling). You also sauté onions with vinegar and mix that into the mash. Then eat with fried eggs.

Hello! Finally got my hands on a plantain and am about to try your recipe. I wonder why you would first peel and then cook the plantain? I have seen african cooks just cutting the plantain in three parts and cook them in an inch of water. Afterwards, the peel came off very easily. But if your technique has a different result, I’d surely stick to your instructions.

First score down the 3 natural ridges of the plantain. Then use the back of a spoon to help peel the skin off. Saves your hands from becoming black.

Oh my! What a pleasant surprise!!!! I am Puerto Rican and I thought I’d have to give up this yummy dish. Thank you again, you’ve made my day.

Holy hannah. I love Mofongo. Ever since I started visiting the DR, I have always wanted to try making it.

This recipe is the bee’s knees. Thank you!

All of my favorite ingredients mashed together? !!! Mwuahahahahah!!!! Breakfast lunch and dinner yes siree!!!! CAn’t wait to try this on Saturday after we do some grocery shopping!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Love it love it! However is it AIP friendly???? OMG I just love mofongo and yes you are supposed to eat it dipping it inside of really thick and yummy chicken broth (thick because it is very concentrated btw)

The recipe states that green plantains are fairly starchy, but if you can handle starches then this recipe is AIP-friendly. — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

I’m a puerto rican and I’ve been wondering for a while about some of my native dishes/foods and paleo. A happy accident brought me to your website and all I can say is thank you, and I have a paleo food crush on you Paleo MOM, thank you very much for this information!
As an aside, many puerto rican’s I’ve known have boiled and mashed plantains for their children. We don’t call it mangu, we just refer to it as plantain mashed, in other words it’s not just a dominican or specifically dominican dish.

I have made this yesterday for dinner for my non-paleo friends (together with your chicken fingers, green beans, zucchini and some grated carrots). They liked it. Now we have some leftovers of the plantain, but I will just add eggs and fry them as “biscuits”. Can’t wait for my breakfast now 😉

Super delicious. I am Hispanic and I loved it. The Paleo recipe it’s better than the actual Mofongo. Thanks for the great recipe. You have to help me modifying my Peruvian food recipes to fit into the Paleo diet.

Thanks for posting, I love your recipes! This is a lovely recipe, however this is not mofongo, this is mangu. The difference is that in mangu you boil the plantains before mashing, while mofongo you would FRY the plaintains before mashing. For paleo mofongo you fry them in coconut oil, still paleo, stuff with a nice spicy shrimpt stew, try it!

It is actually called a mangu, not a mofongo. Mofongo is fried mashed plantains, while mangu is boiled mash plantains.

I just saw this recipe this morning and decided to try it because I had all of the ingredients. I served it with some organic sauerkraut and a bit of unsweetened applesauce. Yummmm!

The pure banana-yellow(a few greenish streaks are ok) is my favorite stage for making tostones, much black and they will turn out oily and floppy(and burn easy), while full green plantains may have good crispyness they make rather bland tasting tostones.
I sprinkle them with a mixture of salt, ground chile, black pepper, and cinnamon(maybe some 5-spice too) the very moment they hit the cooling/draining rack after the final fry. Easiest if you pre-mix the seasoning.

We enjoy this recipe so much. Especially on cold days when steamed veggies just don’t make it and we’re craving something warm, starchy, salty, and greasy! The last time I substituted Japanese yam (purple skin, white starchy flesh) for the plantain – it was even better! Yum.

Sarah, I just want to say, you rock!! I love your videos that go into detail and describe “how-to” because nobody else does this for us! I’ve been following your advice and my autoimmune conditions, narcolepsy, lymphocytic colitis, Raynaud’s and celiac not to mention my chronic pancreatitis are all in “remission” now. Your recipes are wonderful, easy to follow, delicious and not complicated.

I followed Paleo in the past but this is a whole new level. Your advice is helping me heal. I’m inspired and feel like I haven’t in YEARS.


Much love to you!

Happy Thanksgiving and Thanks for all you do!

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