|Place of origin||Puerto Rico|
|Main ingredients||Plantains, Chicharrón, olive oil, and garlic|
|Variations||Fufu, Tacacho, Cayeye, Mangú|
|Other information||Popular throughout:
New York City
|Cookbook: Mofongo Media: Mofongo|
Mofongo (Spanish pronunciation: [moˈfoŋɡo]) is a fried plantain-based dish. It is typically made with fried green plantains mashed together in a pilón (wooden mortar and pestle), with broth, garlic, olive oil, and pork cracklings (Chicharrón) or bits of bacon. It can be filled with vegetables, chicken, crab, shrimp, or beef and is often served with fried meat and chicken broth soup. Mofongo relleno is mofongo served with braised meat or seafood poured over it.
Mofongo is an Afro-Puerto Rican dish that has clear roots in the west African Fufu. Fufu is made from various starchy vegetables and was introduced to the Caribbean by Africans in the Spanish New World colonies such as Cuba (fufu de plátano), Dominican Republic (mangú), and Puerto Rico (mofongo). Fufu consists of starchy root vegetables and plantains boiled then mashed until a dough-like consistency with water, butter, or milk.
Mofongo evolved from fufu and is most often made from plantains, but other starchy roots can also be used. The plantains and/or starchy roots are cut about half inch thick and deep fried. When done the plantains/roots are crisp outside but dense inside. The plantains/roots are then mashed with broth, olive oil, garlic, pork cracklings, and seasoning. The consistency of mofongo is much more stiff than fufu.
It is also common in Puerto Rico to make mofongo with cassava (mofongo de yuca), taro and eddoe (mofongo de malanga y yautía), bread fruit (mofongo de pana), or a combination of cassava, ripe and green plantains (trifongo), ripe and unripe plantains (mofongo de amarillo).
Thanksgiving is an American holiday that has been adopted by Puerto Rico. Turkey is the main focus on every thanksgiving table and is traditional stuffed with bread. The traditional bread stuffing is replaced with mofongo de batata (plantain and sweet potato mofongo) in Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans homes outside the commonwealth.
Frito-Lay produces MoFongo Snax, a combined plantain chips, cassava chips and pork rinds into one bag.
Mofongo has become popular with Dominicans and have their own unique liking. Dominicans add queso frito (fried cheese) and replace the olive oil with butter. The plantains in making traditional mofongo are not always fried but boiled.
Mofongo outside of Puerto Rico
In Cuba mofongo is called Machuquillo. The plantains are not fried but boiled. Machuquillo is often garnished with parsley and served with roasted pork or chicken.
During the 1960s many Dominicans who feared the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo fled to Puerto Rico and New York City. Mofongo caught on quickly with Dominicans living in Puerto Rico and New York City. Plantains are a Dominican staple and their third most important crop after rice and beans. Mofongo is a flagship food for many Dominican restaurants.
In popular culture
Food Network chef and host Guy Fieri featured mofongo from Benny's Seafood (in Miami, Florida) and from El Bohio (in San Antonio, Texas) on two separate episodes of his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. He liked the dish so much that he called it the "best fried thing I ever ate" on an episode of the show The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
Mofongo is featured in a Season 2 episode of Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell as the opening dish challenge.
In a Season 3 episode of Sanford and Son, Lamont tells his father that he has met their new next-door neighbor, Puerto Rican Julio Fuentes. Lamont tells his father that Fuentes gave him "a dish of some stuff that was terrific", which was mofongo.
An episode of the Travel Channel's Man v. Food Nation set in Harlem showed the host, Adam Richman, visiting a Spanish Harlem restaurant called La Fonda Boricua, where they make a giant 12-plantain mofongo called the "Mofongaso".
Pun pun catalu is a merengue song by Celia Cruz with Willie Colón. The song is about how Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico share similarities. She mentions how mashed plantains with pork cracklings are called fufú in her Cuba, mangú in Quisqueya (Dominican Republic), and mofongo in Borinquen (Puerto Rico).
Puerto Ricos oldest group El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico plays a salsa song called El Menu about popular food in Puerto Rico. Andy Montañez brings up mofongo, saying "Tráigame el mofongo" (bring the mofongo) over backup vocals as they sing "Y después que le pongan salsa" (and then put sauce).
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