This dish is a perfect reflection of Puerto Rico cuisine. Tropical mashed plantains are surrounded by shrimp in garlic-sauce, reminiscent of the Gambas de Ajillo brought to the island by the Spanish in the 17th century. The dish has become a staple of Puerto Rican cuisine.
Mofongo Con Camarones al Ajillo- Puerto Rican Mashed Plantains with Garlic Shrimp
- Large bowl
- Large skillet
- Potato masher.
- 3 large Green plantains
- 5 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 medium Red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 medium Yellow onion, diced
- 5 strips Bacon, sliced into ½ inch pieces (omit for vegetarian or vegan versions. Replace with 3 tbsp olive oil)
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lb Medium or large shrimp
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- ¼ cup Lime juice
- 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup Parsley or cilantro, chopped
- Prepare Plantains – Cut end off of plantains and then cut 3 deep vertical slits. Peel skins from plantains by working down the vertical slits. Cut crossways into 1-inch slices. Soak in salted water for 15 minutes. Drain and dry well. Heat oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Place plantains into oil, cut-side down, and cook 3-4 minute on each side. The disks should be a golden brown color. Careful not to let them turn dark brown and add more oil if necessary. Remove to paper towels to drain.
- Cook Vegetables – Add bacon to same skillet and cook 5 minutes. Then add onion and red pepper and continue cooking until bacon is crisp and onions are soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes.
- Complete Mofongo – Place cooked plantains in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher. Mash-in garlic, spices, and cilantro. Scrape pan with the cooked onions, bacon, and red pepper into bowl and knead everything with your hands until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.Shape into large balls of mofongo with your hands and then flatten slightly on serving plates. Serve as a side like mashed potatoes or surround with a heavily sauced disk like Shrimp in Garlic Sauce.
Camarones al Ajo
- Place shrimp in a colander in the sink. Salt and let sit for 15 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.Heat oil in a wide frying pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and lightly brown. Add shrimp, black pepper, and lime juice. Cook until shrimp turn pink and garlic has blended in. Remove from heat, mix in parsley, and pour around mofongo sitting in the middle of the plate. Serve hot.
- For vegetarian or vegan version, replace bacon with 2-3 tbsp oil if not using.
- Don’t overcook the plantains or they might be too dry. If they seem dry when mashing, add a little oil. Too dry and they will be crumbly when shaping into balls.
- For a prettier presentation, lightly oil a small bowl, press a quarter of the mofongo into the bowl. Lightly place bowl upside-down over a serving dish and remove bowl.