Shrimp mofongo is a simple and delicious dish that will add an exotic flair to your dinner. If you have friends from the Caribbean or watch Saturday Night Live, you might have heard of, or even enjoyed Mofongo lately. This easy to make dish is considered gourmet and is found in traditional Dominican restaurants in the Dominican Republic and around the world.
What is Mofongo?
Mofongo is made from green plantains that are fried, then mashed with garlic and other ingredients depending on the type, using a pestle and mortar. Mofongo can also be made from yucca root, but traditional mofongo is always made with plantain and pork rind (chicharrón).
Mofongo can be eaten by itself, but can also be accompanied by traditional Dominican stew, soup, or even salad.
For the shrimp mofongo, we will braise the shrimp in a simple sauce with bell peppers, onions, garlic and tomato paste. Make this sauce as thick or runny as you like to accompany the dry plantain mash. You will need a pestle and mortar to make the traditional mofongo shape. The smaller the mortar, the better. If you don’t own a small mortar, use a bigger one to mash the plantain, or use any mashing tool available. Then, using a soup cup lined with plastic wrap, mold the mash into a half-moon shape, as shown in the picture below.
If you’ve never peeled a green plantain before, watch this three-minute video to learn how.
Use one plantain per person for this recipe.
- 4 green plantains
- 1 lb. jumbo prawns or shrimp
- 1 bulb of fresh garlic
- ½ red onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 tablespoons of butter
- 1½ teaspoons of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper
- 1 lemon or lime
- 1 cup of water
- 4-6 tablespoons of cooking oil
- Peel the plantains using the instructions on the link provided. Then, using a sharp knife, cut into 1 inch pieces as seen in this post's picture collage. Place in a big bowl or dish.
- Clean and chop all the vegetables in ½ inch pieces.
- Peel the garlic cloves.
- Clean and shell the shrimp and cut into two pieces if big. Place in a bowl and add the juice of one lime/lemon, the pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Set all prepped ingredients aside and get ready to cook.
- On a 12 medium to large frying pan, add 3 tablespoons of oil, or as needed to coat the bottom and fill up about ¼ of an inch. Allow to heat on high.
- Add the cut plantains and separate if needed with a fork, turning them in two minutes or when the bottom looks golden to light brown. Fry both sides and quickly set aside on a bowl.
- Place three to four pieces of plantain in the mortar (more if mortar is bigger) and mash with the pestle.
- Add two to three garlic cloves per mofongo (more or less per your taste) and a dash of salt on top of them so the salt absorbs the oils in the garlic. Mash garlic into the plantains, turning the dry mash with a spoon.
- Add a teaspoon of butter if desired to make plantains more malleable.
- Continue to mash until the plantains take the shape of the mortar. If you are mashing without a mortar, see instructions in the first part of this post on how to do it with a small soup bowl.
- Place the half-moon shaped plantain mash on a plate. Repeat as needed.
- Mash or crush three to four cloves of garlic to add to the shrimp.
- On another frying pan, add 1 table-spoon of oil and allow to heat on high.
- Add the onions, garlic and pepper and immediately add the shrimp.
- Add half a cup of water and allow to boil, adding and dissolving the tomato paste in the boiling water. Add more water if needed to loosen the sauce, stirring for 3 minutes or until prawns are ready.
- Serve over the mofongo.