My First-Friend Malu’s Puerto Rican Mofongo

Mofongo iStock

Mofongo is Malu’s favorite food. Because: plantains.

Maria Luisa “Malu” González Brunet and I have been friends since we met in kindergarten in San Juan, Puerto Rico. When we get together or call to catch up, our chisme and memories zigzag through the decades: from what we did last year, to what’s new with our kids, to childhood weekends at her grandparents’ house in the small town in the center of the island, Barranquitas, where we slip-slided down grass hills on yaguas, soaped-up palm tree stalks we rode like sleds.

Malu and I know a lot about each other. But until I called to wrestle this mofongo recipe out of her, I didn’t know about her Proustian thing with plantains. “Me encanta el plátano,” Malu declares. “In my family, growing up, we cooked them so many ways, and I love every single one. I love tostones and I love piñon. I love mofongo and I love plátanos maduros. I love plantains.”

I should have known. It suddenly comes back to me that Malu served creamy platano soup at her wedding 30 years ago in Puerto Rico. Today, she lives in Boston and ”eating plantains reminds me of my roots, of my island.”

When she’s hungry for home, one of Malu’s favorite dishes is mofongo: The taste and the texture of savory plantain patties packed with crunchy pork rind, sautéd garlic and a pinch of salt. “My favorite way to eat mofongo is relleno, when you stuff it with meat or shrimp,” she says.

So, here it is: Malu’s go-to recipe for mofongo. It’s delicious plain and relleno. You can’t go wrong, she says: Every bite is crunchy-savory delicioso.

Ready to Make Malu’s Puerto Rican Mofongo?

Malu’s Puerto Rican Mofongo

Recipe by Malu González
5.0 from 1 vote
Cuisine: Puerto Rican


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 3 green plantains

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 Tbsp salt for water

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 lb chicharrón (pork-rind cracklings), chopped

  • 2 cups olive oil for frying mofongo


  • Peel the plantains and cut on the diagonal in 1-inch slices.
  • Soak plantain slices in the water and salt for 15 minutes. Drain well.
  • Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, caldero or Dutch oven. Add all the plantain slices and fry on low heat for 3 or so minutes per side, until each is lightly golden. Scoop them out and lay on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil.
  • In a mortar, crush the garlic cloves and mix in the olive oil and salt. When thoroughly mixed into a paste, remove from the mortar.
  • In the same mortar, make your first mofongo ball. Crush 3 to 4 slices of fried plantains. Mix in 1 Tbsp chicharrón. Add about 1 tsp of the garlic, salt and olive oil blend. Mix together.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°
  • With a large spoon, scoop out the mash and form a round ball, using your hands and the spoon to shape it. Repeat until you use all the mofongo mix and have about 6 mounds or round balls.
  • Make a small pocket in each mofongo mound and stuff with 2 to 3 Tbsp of your favorite stewed meat, chicken or shrimp guiso.
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees—or serve alone—for pure plantain Proustian perfection.


  • Malu loves shrimp-filled mofongo best but says you can’t go wrong with any kind of stuffing. Beef, chicken, shrimp—all go perfectly with the savory and sweet plantains.

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