I have eaten thousands of plantains in any and every way a plantain has been cooked. I am known to buy a bag of frozen plantains (maduros) and fry them up. Don’t judge! Plantains are great for snacks, as a side dish, or as a main course. When I want to make a comforting warming meal for myself or my family, plantains can and will do the job. Not to mention, plantains are cheap!
Fufu sounds a little strange to those not familiar to the dish, but for many Cubans this is belly-warming home cooking.
Whenever I make or mention fufu, many people have not heard of this dish. I wanted to use this platform to showcase this rustic dish made of plantains and its history. The beautiful thing about the Caribbean, and especially Cuba, is the mix of cultures and the fusions of foods. Fufu de platano is a great example of it.
Fufu sounds a little strange to those not familiar to the dish, but for many Cubans this is belly-warming home cooking. Fufu de Platano is a West and Central African staple dish most commonly made with boiled starchy foods such as yucca, yams, or plantains. In this recipe, plantains are mashed into a smooth paste and served with sauces or stews.
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Enslaved Africans brought their foods and cooking styles to the Caribbean, and over the years the dish evolved. In Puerto Rico, mofongo is almost always made with fried and mashed plantains, however there are yucca and breadfruit variations. In the Dominican Republic, mangú uses boiled plantains mashed into a paste with butter and served with fried eggs, salami, and pickled red onion. Cuba has sweet and mildly sweet variations of fufu. Cubans have kept the original name of the African dish, adding the extension “de plátano” or “de plátano pinton.”
It’s got the bold flavors you would not expect with only a few ingredients.
Fufu de Plátano Recipe
Fufu de platano is a true treasure. It’s a little sweet, tangy, and crunchy blended into the smooth texture of the plantains. It’s got the bold flavors you would not expect with only a few ingredients. Enjoy with rice, sliced avocado, and a simple salad.
3 green plantains & 2 yellow plantains (semi-sweet), peeled and cut into large chunks
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 cup chicken stock
2 pork shoulder steaks (or any fattier cuts of pork), cut into ½ inch pieces
1 cup chicharrón, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
Juice of 1 lime*
Kosher salt & ground black pepper to taste
Cilantro, chopped for garnish
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In a medium sauce pot, boil the green plantains in salted water. After 10 minutes add the yellow plantains. Cook until fork-tender.
While the plantains are boiling, heat a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add olive oil and cut pork. Season with salt and pepper. Cook pork until golden brown, 3 minutes on each side.
Once pork has browned, remove and set aside. Add onions and garlic to the same pan. Reduce heat to medium low. Make sure to scrap any brown bites left from the bottom of the pan. Sauté the onions and garlic just until soft. Add lime juice & season with salt & pepper. Remove from heat & set aside.
Next, drain the plantains and place in a large bowl, and mash. Add the chicken stock, onions & garlic mixtures. Continue to mash until smooth. Season with cumin, salt & pepper.
Add cooked pork and chicharrones, stir to combine. Plate the fufu and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Serve with white rice and sliced avocado.
* If you are able to access sour orange juice, mix 3 tablespoons lime & sour orange juice.
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