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Course Main course
Place of origin Puerto Rico
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients Plantains, Chicharrón, olive oil, and garlic
Variations Fufu, Tacacho, Cayeye, Mangú
Other information Popular throughout:
Puerto Rico
Dominican Republic
New York City
Cookbook: Mofongo  Media: Mofongo

Mofongo (Spanish pronunciation: [moˈfoŋɡo]) is a Puerto Rican dish [1] with fried plantains as its main ingredient. Plantains are picked green and fried then mashed with salt, garlic and oil in a wooden pilón, a kitchen device also known as mortar and pestle.[2][3] The object is to produce a tight ball of mashed plantains that would absorb the attending condiments and have either pork cracklings (Chicharrón) or bits of bacon inside. Most dressings and mixtures include broth, garlic, and olive oil. It is traditionally served with fried meat and chicken broth soup.[4] Particular flavors result from variations that include vegetables, chicken, shrimp, beef, or octopus packed inside or around the plantain orb. And then, there is the Mofongo relleno. According to Yvonne Ortiz, "Tino's Restaurant on the west coast of Puerto Rico" began the trend.[5] Seafood, abundant in the region, found its way inside the plantain ball too, but with braised meat or more seafood poured over it. Nowadays, seafood lovers get the relleno stuffed also "with meat, or poultry."[6]


Mofongo's roots lead to the western African Fufu, mixed with Spanish and Taíno influences. 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) this also most likely includes Colombia (cayeye), Amazon area and Peru (tacacho). Fufu consists of starchy root vegetables and plantains boiled then mashed until a dough-like consistency with water, butter, or milk.


A pilón to make Mofongo

Plantains and/or starchy roots are cut about half an inch thick and deep fried. When done, the plantains/roots are crisp outside, but dense inside. The plantains/roots are then mashed in a wooden mortar and pestle called a pilón made with mahogany or guaiacum, both native hardwoods. Broth, olive oil, garlic, and pork cracklings are added and mashed as well. The consistency of mofongo is much more stiff than fufu. In Africa, fufu is accompanied by a bowl of soup. In Puerto Rico, traditionally mofongo is accompanied by chicken broth soup, but braised meat has become more popular.

Frito-Lay produces MoFongo Snax, a combined plantain chips, cassava chips and pork rinds into one bag.

In popular culture[edit]

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.[7]

Anne Burrell is featured in a Season 2 episode of Chef Wanted with mofongo as the opening dish challenge.

Mofongo is also featured in Episode 7, Season 6 of the Food Network show, Beat Bobby Flay, where Bobby Flay's mofongo dish prevails over a mofongo dish prepared by Puerto Rican chef Giovanna Huyke.

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".

Singer Ismael Rivera with conductor Rafael Cortijo sung a plena song called Mofongo Pelao about mofongo.

Kenan Thompson often mentions mofongo in character as David Ortiz on Saturday Night Live.

In Sanford and Son TV series, Fred and Lamont's Puerto Rican neighbor Julio makes and refers to mofongo

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Voeks, Robert (2013). African Ethnobotany in the Americas. New York: Springer. p. 28. ISBN 1461408350. 
  2. ^ Carballo, Viviana (January 19, 2005). "Gusto! ; Plantains Carry Deep Roots of Tradition in Mofongo". Special to the Sentinel. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved December 16, 2015. 
  3. ^ Cordero Malavé, Deborah (2010). Plantain Hybrids: Fresh Market and Processing Characteristics. Mayaguez, PR: University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus. pp. 9, 41. 
  4. ^ Antonio Benítez Rojo (1996). The Repeating: The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective. James E. Maraniss (translation). Duke University Press. p. 97. ISBN 0-8223-1865-2. 
  5. ^ Ortiz, Yvonne (1997). A Taste of Puerto Rico: Traditional and New Dishes from the Puerto Rican Community. Plume. ISBN 0452275482. 
  6. ^ Van Atten, Suzanne (2015). Moon San Juan, Vieques & Culebra. Avalon Travel. ISBN 1631212281. 
  7. ^ Video: Guy Fieri on Mofongo on Food Network

External links[edit]