A basic plantain
Here we present a simple plantain recipe which we consider is
typical Dominican 'Mangu', a dish that is dear to our hearts. For a
real taste of dominican cuisine we hope you give this mangu recipe a
4 fresh young green Plantain (Platano)
A good pinch salt
5 fluid ounces of water
3 fluid ounces of
4 ounces/125 grams stick of butter
Salt and pepper
NOTE: In this plantain recipe we assume that a cup holds 5
fluid ounces if this helps you calculate what you need.
Back at home we enjoy 'mangu' regularly as the basic carbohydrate
component for a variety of meals, and especially when we are having
a 'full Dominican breakfast'.
For many parts of the world it is perhaps more likely that
‘mashed potato’ is eaten, but we think this simple plantain recipe,
which is raelly a regional variation of ‘mash’ using fresh young
plantain, or even young green bananas, is even better!
Taking the green plantain, remove the outer peel with a sharp
knife and slice the ‘banana-like’ fruits into chunks, say, 2
inches/10 centimeters (cm) long.
Put the pieces in a good sized pan that allows the plantain to be
covered with water and leaves some space for safety, as they will be
boiled for quite a while.
Season the water with a good pinch of salt per plantain used.
Bring the pan to the boil and simmer for at least 15-20 minutes
stirring just occasionally to ensure the plantain pieces are evenly
cooked to a softness that is evident when they can be easily pierced
by a fork or knife. Cook the plantain for a little longer if you
feel it is necessary.
Put a colander/sieve over a large bowl and drain the plantain,
reserving the cooking liquor.
Put the plantain in another bowl and mash well, using a potato
masher, or even the flat bottom of a strong, tall glass, or bottle.
You may find that you need to work quite fast as the plantain mash
will stiffen up considerably as it cools.
Work in the cup of water, taken from the cooking liquor as you
continue to mash the plantain to a smooth consistency. You can also
stir the milk (which should be warmed through to keep the mangu warm
and aid mixing) to make the mash more creamy.
Cut the butter into ˝ inch/1 cm cubes (it is easiest to do this
if it comes straight from the fridge) and add it to the mash. You
can use another oil of your choice...but we think for the best
flavor it has to be butter. Blend it into the mash with a wooden
spoon until the mash is perfectly smooth and has a creamy
Season the mangu with salt to your taste…and the mash is ready to
eat! You might also like to add a grinding of black pepper to this
plantain recipe, although this is not so commonly used in the
Mangu is ideally served with a rich onion based ‘sauce’ called
‘Escabeche’ the recipe for which you can find HERE (web site
editor's note: 24/08/05 link coming soon). Then when you served it a
sprinkle of parmesan cheese is the perfect finishing touch!
This plantain recipe is very commonly used as part of a typical
Dominican breakfast. You will often find hotels and households
serving mangu alongside other breakfast items such as fried eggs,
fried salchichon (Dominican sausage), fried salami and even fried
cheese! So when you visit the Dominican Republic you may be
surprised to see that most Dominicans are actually quite slim
considering their great love of fried foods to start the day!!
You will have noticed that we call the plantain recipe outlined
above a ‘basic recipe for mangu’. This is because it is possible to
enrich it or make it a more ‘up-market’ product by adding grated
cheese to the mix whilst making the mash. Some people also like to
add ‘lardons’ (small strips) of fried bacon (along with the tasty
fat rendered from the meat whilst frying!!) to add even more
flavor...and plenty more calories too!!!
We hope you enjoy inventing your own variations on this basic
recipe for mangu! And if our recipe pages have inspired you to plan
a vacation to the Dominican Republic to try the real thing, be sure
to look at our 'Mother' site for lots of great tips and free travel advice
for visitors to the Dominican Republic today.
‘El Jefe de Cocina Dominicana’
(Copyright www.dominican-foods.com (2005) -
Basic mangu recipe)
to the top of this plantain recipe - mangu page