What Is: A Recipe for Mofongo, A Marriage of Caribbean and African Cuisine

Have you noticed that there has been an influx of unfamiliar cuisines in Metro Manila lately? With the increasing number of new cuisines in the city, there are bound to be a few dishes that will be new to us. Here’s where these articles will come in handy, we’ll tackle not only what the dish is but also discuss its origin—and if you’re hungry for more, we’re throwing in a great recipe for good measure. We start with

Mofongo, a Puerto Rican dish with African influences, made from mashed, unripened plantains and is usually flavored with chicharrón or bacon and doused with broth. Popular mofongo fillings include seafood, or vegetables among other ingredients— this style is called mofongo relleno. Throughout the region, the dish has several variations where plantains are mixed with other starchy vegetables, or prepared with different cooking styles. Influenced by the African fufu, an African mashed vegetable dish, several countries in the Caribbean have their own version of the dish, substituting the starchy vegetables of Africa with the widely available plantain. A basic understanding of this dish is necessary, but beyond that, the choices are limitless. Its numerous variations and cooking styles are a testament to the dish’s versatility. Go ahead, make your own mofongo, you might be surprised at how close it hits home.



Yield: 2–4 servings
Time: 15 minutes


  • 4 plantains or saba bananas, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5–6 pieces shrimp, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes



  1. In a sauté pan, add the onion, when it’s cooked add the shrimp and cook for five minutes.
  2. When the shrimp has cooked through and changed in color, add the tomato paste and let it cook for three minutes. Afterwards, add in the stewed tomatoes.
  3. Let it simmer for 10 minutes until all the liquid has reduced. Let the mixture cool.
  4. Fry the plantains or saba bananas until light golden brown, about seven minutes and set aside.
  5. Coat your mortar with oil, mash the fried plantains with your mortar and pestle. Hollow out the mashed plantains and stuff with the cooked shrimp and seal with the remaining mashed plantains.



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