A Stir The Pots Post


by | Aug 2, 2010 | Food, plantains, Recipes

When I was a kid, bananas were always yellow and sweet. But in my 30 years working alongside Latin American cooks and traveling to my wife's homeland of Ecuador, I have learned lots about bananas, especially the versatility of the plantain, the starchier and less sweet variety. There are countless uses and techniques to find value in this fruit.

Take the green plantano verde (green plantain, not ripe at all) which is the same as the yellowish mottled or black maduro (mature or ripe). You can cook them, fry them, boil them, bake them or grill them. Some of my favorite preparations are bolon, chifles, empanada de verde, mofongo and of late Mangú.

Origins of Mangú range from it's resemblance to fufu from Africa which was brought along with the banana with the Portugese to South America. But my Sous Chef often likes to say the name comes from the U.S. occupation of his Island of Santo Domingo, which lasted from 1916 to 1924 by the United States Marines. The story says a Marine tasted the dish of plantains and said, "man that tastes good!" And the locals started to call it Mangú. Legend, maybe, but it always gets a chuckle in the kitchen when we are making it.


2 Plantains, green

1 onion, (I used red, but yellow or white would work fine.)

Oil, neutral, lard or olive oil and even butter works..

Salt and pepper

Salami (Dominicans like salami Campesino)

water from the cooking liquid and or some milk….

Boil plantains in a pot of salted water till soft, meanwhile fry onions in oil till golden and tender.

Mash plantains with fork, add some of the cooking water to soften the mix, drizzle with some oil to taste, season with salt and pepper….

Toppings or add in's are optional,and range from cheese, Chicharrón, but I cooked up some Maya shrimp that were marinated with cumin, piment d'espelette, garlic and cilantro and cooked a' la plancha….



  1. Sandy

    Great post! I’ve never cooked a plantain . . . may have the courage to take a stab at it now. 😉

  2. Jeremy

    Sandy, do try, worth the effort and so simple, I will try to post more on plantains!

  3. Carol

    The BEST dish in the world. Specially when topped with saute onions (that had been marinating in a bit of vinegar and salt). Then a side of Salami…yyuummmm


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