Vegan Mofongo: Criollo y Chicharrón
Mofongo is a dish very familiar to me and my Puertorriqueño familia. However, if you've never heard or seen this delicious mountain of mashed+fried plantains, let's give you a little history lesson and recipe to bring you into the family. This dish called 'mofongo' came about due to the colonization of the island of Puerto Rico, originally Borinquen, by West African slaves who were brought to the island by European + Spaniards. Mofongo gains its origins from the West African dish called 'Fufu'. Green plantains are mashed with some sort of fat, salt, and garlic in a pilon. Though a very veggie friendly dish, our ancestors and Island familia love to add meat to everything and mofongo was nothing short of that. Usually topped or filled with seafood or meat in some creole or garlic sauce, I knew that I had to veganize this. But how?
I am a huge sucker for vegan meats, especially those sold at the Asian markets! While shopping the other day I came across a plant-based pork belly... talk about mind blowing! I admit that pre-vegan Jeremie was a fan of pork and seafood. Needless to say that if I was going to veganize this famous Puerto Rican dish I needed it to impress my non-vegan family, friends, and followers. I decided to go ahead and purchase this pork belly + cube it and fry it, and let me tell you that I swear I thought I was eating real chicharron. And at a $7 price tag, it couldn't be beat.
I was also a huge fan of the shrimp in creole sauce mofongo that my grandmother makes, so I knew I had to do this recipe justice. However, since I was already using a vegan pork belly that already looked too realistic for me– I decided to go ahead and use hearts of palm. Normally, I use hearts of palm in my vegan ceviche that is too die for! So, I knew that it wouldn't fall short in this delicious creole tomato sauce on top of some buttery, garlicky, mashed plantains.
This dish truly brings it home for me. Whenever I'm missing my family, our loud conversations, salsa music playing in the background with a hint of Fabuloso on the floor after welita finished cooking. This dish does that for me. I hope you enjoy every bit of this Puerto Rican delicacy and that it brings you a piece of me to your home.
VEGAN MOFONGO: CRIOLLO Y CHICHARRON
Vegan Mofongo FULL RECIPE VIDEO HERE
3-4 Large Plantains, Sliced + Fried
2-3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
3 Tbsps Vegan Butter
1/3 Cup Bacon, Fried
1 Can of Hearts of Palm, Marinated
1 /2 Cup of Vegan Pork Rings (Pork Belly), Cubed + Fried
2 Cups Caldo (No-Chicken Broth)
1/2-1 Cup of Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp Sazón
Adobo to taste
1-2 Tbsps Sofrito
1. In a caldero, or large pot, heat oil on medium-high heat. Fry plantains until golden brown + follow along with bacon and vegan "chicharrón" until crispy.
2. In a large bowl or pilon, mash plantains and gradually add 2 tbsps of vegan butter, bacon pieces, no-chicken broth, and adobo to taste.
3. Melt butter in a pan/skillet. Cook onions and garlic until translucent. Add in sofrito + sazon, and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes before adding in hearts of palm. Season with adobo to taste.
4. Add in tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of no-chicken broth and cook for 5 more minutes.
5. Mix together mayo + ketchup to create a "mayoketchup" dressing.
6. In a pilon or a bowl add in mofongo mixture and press down to create somewhat of a "mountain" of a mashed plantains. You can either fill it with chicharrón/criollo fillings or you can flip the mountain onto a plate and place the fillings overtop. **Watch video below for reference**
7. Serve hot!
**View Recipe Notes Down Below**
To create the caldo (broth) I combine 2 cups of filtered water with 1 Not Chick'n Bouillon cube + garlic and onion powder.
If you can't find vegan pork belly, you can use seitan or tofu (marinated) and fry it to create a vegan chicharrón.
If you'd like to purchase a pilon you can find it at your local International Market or Asian Markets (Or you can fly all the way to the Caribbean your choice ;) !
Want a healthier version? Skip the frying, use my baking method for the plantains and then follow the other steps as needed.