Mofongo con Sopa de Mariscos (Plantain Mash and Seafood Soup)

I am here again ready to battle out another round of Foodbuzz’s Project Food Blog.  Thank you to everyone who voted for me!  You guys rock!  Your support and encouraging words helped me to get my tail in to the kitchen to conquer each weekly challenge.

When I saw all the wonderful submissions for challenge 3, I got a wee-bit nervous, but I lived to take on another challenge.  The competition is starting to get tight; so, it’s game time!  This challenge is something that I do frequently here on The Noshery.  So, I really hope I advance or I am going to have a bit of egg on my face…

The challenge prompt: Sure, you can take a pretty picture. But your task here is to go above and beyond and use photography to create a step-by-step, instructional photo tutorial. It could be anything from how to bone a chicken to how to make your favorite recipe, but your photos need to guide the reader through the steps. For this challenge, you’ll want to go well beyond the 2 photo minimum with at least 6 photographs.

After reading the prompt, I immediately knew what I wanted to make for this challenge.   I decided on one of my favorite dishes from back home in Puerto Rico, mofongo. Puerto Rico’s sister island of the Dominican Republic does something similar called mangu except it is made with boiled plantains instead of fried ones.  I say: “go fried or go home!”  This is the only way to go!

During my first year of college in Puerto Rico, I would periodically not attend my English class, which was the last class of the day.  My friends and I would meet up in the parking lot, pile into our junky cars, and make a trip out to Luquillo’s beach. We would lay out on the beach and soak in the sun. Worn out from laying in the sun, we would make our way over to the long row of kioskos along the roadside.  These roadside kiosks were filled with all the street food frituras that Puerto Rico is famous for and that make great lunch options.  One of my favorite dishes was a hot bowl of sopa de mariscos with a side of  freshly made mofongo.  It was one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon: sitting on a rickety picnic table, in the open sea air, enjoying a wonderful bowl of delicious sopa de maricos and mofongo. It beat sitting in English class–that’s for sure!

Here, I introduce to you my recipe for Mofongo con Sopa de Mariscos. I promise you are going to thank me a million times over for this one.  This is my comfort food.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Mofongo can’t be mofongo if you don’t have some crispy bits of pork in it.  Traditionally, you would use our version of crackling called chicharrones, except it is off of a pit roasted pig, instead of deep fried.  Unfortunately, I do not have the time, space, or luxury to roast a whole pig to get myself some chicharrones. Instead, I got a block of cured salt pork, which works out perfectly because it has the skin on it.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Rinse the salted pork under running water for a few minutes, rinsing off some of the salt.  Some say to soak it, but I find that rinsing it off works just fine.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Pat the salted pork dry with a paper towel.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the salted pork.  This helps to render the fat and get it nice and crispy.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Slice the skin off of the cube of salted pork and set aside.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Using a very sharp knife, cut the salted pork cube into thin slices.  It’s bacon!

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Lay the skin and pork slices on top of a cooking grid on a baking sheet.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until it is super brown and crispy.  The pork skin will not be ready yet.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Raise the temperature to 400 degrees and bake the skin for an additional 25 minutes or until the skin is crispy, golden brown, and sounds hallow when tapped.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Coarsely chop the bacon and skin, set aside.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Now, get ready to handle some shrimps.  You want a 1 lb bag of 16-20 raw skin on jumbo shrimp.  They have to be raw with the skin on because you will be using the skins to flavor the soup.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Peel all the shrimp and set aside skins and peeled shrimp.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Do you know how to dice an onion?  You would be surprised how many people do not.  The easiest way to chop an onion is to cut it in half from top to root; cut off the top and peel; and then slice length wise , without cutting all the way to the root.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Now, turn the onion and cut crosswise and you have diced an onion.  Easy!

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

In a dutch oven or a large pot, combine 2 tbs of olive oil, 5 cubes of sofrito, and the onion.  Saute the onions for about 8 minutes or until tender.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Add 1 8 oz bottle of clam juice to the pot.

What exactly is clam juice anyway?  What is this “juice” that the clam is making.  Anyone? Anyone?

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Add 2 cups of water, shrimp skins, and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce to the pot.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Oh and most important, an envelop of Sazon con culantro y achiote.  This gives it a little extra “flay-vor”.

Raise the temperature and bring to a boil, lower the temperature and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

After everything has simmered and everyone has had an opportunity to get to know each other on a more deep and intimate level, use a slotted spoon or fry basket to fish out the shrimp skins.

Ha! Fish out shrimp skins . . . hey, I thought it was funny. :D

If you were smart, you would wrap up the shrimp skins in a cheese cloth and make a bundle and then you wouldn’t have to fish them out.  Apparently, I am not so smart.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Set the heat to medium-low and add shrimp and lump crab meat to the pot.  Let it stew for about 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Put the heat at the lowest setting, cover, and set aside until ready to serve.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Now it is time to make mofongo.  Mofongo is simply a mash of fried plantains.

Almost every time I go to the store to pick up a few plantains, someone in line or the cashier asks me what they are and how I prepare them.  They are quite a conversation starter and a great opportunity for me to plug my blog.

Plantains look like a big green banana and they are in the same genetic family, but they are different from a banana.  Bananas are soft and sweet, used mostly in desserts.  Plantains are much larger, harder, and are used in more savory dishes.  Although, they can be served sweet when ripe.  I love plantains because there are so many different ways it can be prepared.  Green or ripe–they are always a treat.

The most common question I get is how to peel a plantain.  A plantain, green or ripe, does not peel like a banana.  Here I am going to show you how to peel a green plantain.  This same technique can be used to peel ripe plantains (it’s easier to peel a ripe one than a green one).

First, you want to cut off both ends of the plantain.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Next, using a sharp knife with a short blade, score the plantain lengthwise on four sides.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Holding the plantain firmly, slide the knife blade under the skin, and gently pry the skin up.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Place your thumb under the skin and run it down the length of the plantain, separating the skin from the plantain.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Continue to do this with the remaining 3 sides until all the skin has been removed. Peel a total of 3 plantains.

Congratulations! You have peeled a plantain!

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Slice the plantains into 1 inch slices.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Fill a large bowl with water and 3 tsp of salt or Adobo.  Add all the plantain slices to the bowl and set aside until ready to use.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Peel 4 cloves of garlic.  Lay your knife flat over the clove, gently hit it, and the peel will practically pop right off.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

In a mortar and pestle (or what we call a pilon), mash 4 cloves of garlic, 3 tbs of olive oil, 1 tsp of white vinegar, 1 tsp of salt, and 5 peppercorns.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Mash and pound everything together until it looks like this.  You will get a bit of a work out, but it’s good for you.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Transfer the plantain slices to a plate lined with paper towels and pat dry.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Pour enough vegetable oil to cover the plantain slices in a deep skillet. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Add the plantain slices to the oil.  You may have to do this in two batches.  Fry the plantains for about 15 minutes or until golden.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Using a slotted spoon or frying basket, transfer the plantain slices to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Get ready to use a little elbow grease.

Place about 8 – 10 slices in your pilon. Mash the plantains.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Add some chicarron and mash it all together.  You may want to keep a spoon handy to help separate and mix.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Add a few more fried plantains and about 1 tsp of mash garlic.    Keep mixing and mashing in garlic until you get the taste you want.

If you don’t have a pilon, no worries.  You can mash the plantains in a bowl using a potato masher and fork.  Do not, however, put them in a food processor.  This will not produce the authentic texture of mofongo.  Also, if your pilon is too small, just mash the plantains in small batches, transfer to a bowl, and continue doing so until all the plantains are mashed.  Then mix it all together till well combined.

A final important note:  when preparing mofongo, you must mash the plantains after they are freshly fried.  Otherwise they can become difficult to mash.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

Look and take in all those beautiful bits of mashed plantain and crispy pork.    Isn’t it beautiful?

Oh, and what is that in the back?

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

I can’t forget that soup I made earlier.  Large plump shrimp and crab meat steeping in a bath of deep rich broth.   This is truly a treat.  I can almost smell the salt air when I sit down with this bowl of soup.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

My husband Obed likes his soup served with the mofongo on the side.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

I like to make a big ball out of my mofongo and drop it right in the middle of my soup.   Look at it, sitting in the bowl of soup, surrounded by tender shrimp.  It’s almost like they are doing a choreographed synchronized swim around the mofongo.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

I sat myself at the table, took a deep breath, and couldn’t help but smile.

The smell was intoxicating and literally transported me back to those early college days sitting in a kiosk, enjoying my food in the open sea air.

Mofongo con Sopa de Marisco

For me, mofongo will always be one of those great comfort foods that I crave every time I go home.  This is not one of those dishes you try to adapt and make healthy.  In fact, I would consider that blasphemous.  I love this dish the way it is…I don’t want no “faux-fongo”.  I want the real stuff, deep fried with crispy pork and all.  Because that is just the right way to do it.

I pity the fool who tries to mess with my mofongo!

Print Recipe

Mofongo con Sopa de Mariscos

Soup

  • 1 lb of jumbo shrimp, with skin and raw (about 16-20)
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 large spanish onion, diced
  • 5 cubes of sofrito
  • 1 8 oz bottle of clam juice
  • 6 oz pouch of lump crab meat
  • salt to taste

Peel shrimp, reserve skins and set aside.

In a dutch oven or a large pot combine 2 tbs of olive oil, 5 cubes of sofrito and the onion. Saute the onions for about 8 minutes or until tender.

Add 1 8 oz bottle of clam juice, 2 cups of water, shrimp skins, sazon and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce to the pot.

Raise the temperature and bring to a boil, lower the temperature and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon or fry basket to fish out the shrimp skins. If you were smart, you would wrap on the shrimp skins in a cheese cloth and make a bundle. That way you don’t have to fish them out. Apparently, I am not so smart.

Set the heat to medium-low, add shrimp and lump crab meat to the pot. Let it stew for about 15 minutes. Add some salt to taste.

Put the heat at the lowest setting, cover and set aside until ready to serve.

Mofongo

  • 1 12 oz block of cured salted pork
  • 3 green plantains, peeled and cut into 1 inch slices
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of white vinegar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • vegetable oil
  • salt to taste

Rinse the salted pork under running water for a few minutes, rinsing off some of the salt. Some say to soak it, but I find that rinsing it off works just fine  Pat the salted pork dry with a paper towel.

Using a sharp knife score the skin of the salted pork. This helps to render the fat and get it nice and crispy.  Slice the skin off of the cube of salted pork and set aside.

Using a very sharp knife cut the salted pork cube into thin slices. Lay the skin and pork slices on a baking sheet with a cooking grid.  Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until it is super brown and crispy. The pork skin will not be ready yet.

Raise the temperature to 400 degrees and bake the skin for an additional 25 minutes or until the skin is crispy, golden brown, and sounds hallow when tapped.

Coarsely chop the bacon and skin, set aside.

Peel and slice the plantains into 1 inch slices. Fill a large bowl with water and 3 tsp of salt or Adobo. Add all the plantain slices to the bowl and set aside until ready to use.

In a mortar and pestle mash, 4 cloves of garlic, 3 tbs of olive oil, 1 tsp of white vinegar, 1 tsp of salt and 5 peppercorns.

Transfer the plantain slices to a plate lined with paper towels and pat dry.

Pour enough vegetable oil to cover the plantain slices, in a deep skillet. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Add the plantain slices to the oil. (You may have to do this in two batches.)  Fry the plantains for about 15 minutes or until golden.

Using a slotted spoon or frying basket, transfer the plantain slices to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Place about 8 – 10 slices in your pilon. Mash the plantains.  Add some chicarron and mash it all together. You may want to keep a spoon handy to help separate and mix.  Add a few more fried plantains and about 1 tsp of mash garlic. Keep mixing and mashing in garlic until you get the taste you want.

Serve immediately with soup or broth of choice.

Comments

  1. Monica Whalen says

    Just made this today and it is delicious! First of all thank for the step by step tuturiol i love it. The only thing is the soup needs to be doubled we ate it all. Next time i will make alot more. thanks for the wonderful post it did take me back to Puerto Rico.

  2. says

    This looks fantastic! We (my Puerto Rican family) have made mofongo but never made our own chicharrones. We have always made our our own sofrito and it does include tomato, but I have never made a seafood stew and I can’t wait to try it! I’d be tempted to throw in a little chorizo as well…

  3. Genevieve says

    Oh my God! I made this recipe this weekend and it was out of this world!!!!!
    I went to the fish market and got the big shrimps, clams and dungeness crab legs everything was fresh.

    We had a Sunday evening party!

    ***** Five Stars Menu

  4. jesenia says

    Wow, this looks amazing!!! I am going to make this for my dad and hubby this sunday for father’s day. i can’t wait. thank you.

  5. nitza says

    I’m from Puerto Rico and this recipe is sooo good looking I’m gonna make for my man and myself for sure. Thanks for the recipe and the pictures are easy to follow. Thanks again.

  6. zoraida says

    WOW my cousin told me about your website and I love it the way you take the pictures so we can see how it actually looks best webpage ever I will recommend it to all my friends looking forward to see what you have next thank you…

  7. Sandy Diaz says

    This looks AMAZING!!! Being from PR myself, this Mofongo surely takes me back to my island. I will surely try this soon. I have this huge pilon that its made especifically to make Mofongo and now I’m going to finally use it. Thanks for sharing your great recipes. Weeeeepa!!

  8. Jacqueline says

    I cannot wait to make this! I live in an area in NYC where there are no good local Puerto Rican restaurants – hard to believe, I know! So, finding a place to eat this is impossible. Now I can make it myself. :)

  9. Veronica Figueroa says

    Meseidy,

    Here’s my update:

    Well as you know I don’t like seafood but I enjoy cooking and I can tell by look and smell if I’m on the right track. I was a little nervous however. When I served it I asked my husband Tim to give me full critisism bad or good, he had nothing bad to say; he actually didn’t say anything at all! He was too busy eating. I asked him to rate if from 1-10; mind you he’s a cook as well, he gave it a 12 1/2 :) …..Spanish dishes aren’t one of his strong points.

    On the mofongo, after the first fry once I mashed the mix I rolled them into balls and refried them to give it a little crunch (you know, how they’re usually made) and then broke them up and poured it over the soup.

    You know, no one can really criticize puerto rican food like another puertorican! So way across town lived an old lady in a shoe, that would be my mother! Luckily we live in a small town. So I took her some and drove back home, before I could pull up in the driveway she was calling me, asking me how’d I do that? They tasted even better than hers and she’s been making something similar for years.

    Well this was my update: SUCCESS!
    Thanks for this recipe, when I wanna make something special from now on I’ll always have this recipe to show off.
    Good Luck in your competition.

    Veronica

    P.S. I forgot to mention, this morning around 4:00 am I felt someone touching my face, it was Tim, he said, “Thank you for that meal, it was good”, I said “Your welcome”, then he woke me up again and said, “Is there anymore left”? HAHA I thought that was so funny :D

  10. marie says

    This sounds sounds so good I will have to try it when I go on my Winter Break in December.
    You are a wonderful cook & I have made several dishes from your website.
    My hat goes off to you. Keep the recipes coming. .

    Viva La Puerto Rico and you.

  11. Dolores says

    I’ve tried several of your recipes, all really good so far. But I have to say, this was an amazing one! The family absolutely LOVED it! Look forward to seeing more new recipes on your blog. Congrats on your success and from a Cubanita to a Boricua, you really do a wonderful job spreading the happy happy joy joy Latino love! Cariños

  12. Laurie W says

    This was wonderful – it reminded me alot of a dish I learned to make in Brazil called Moqueca (I’m sure I’m spelling that wrong), but not as intense a flavor and it was served with rice – Thank you so much for the recipe – in the last week, I’ve seen a couple of the travel food writer guys both try this in PR – and I couldnt wait to try it – we were not dissapointed!!

  13. giselle says

    Where do you buy nice shrimp in Tulsa? I went to Bodean’s and I was sorely disappointed. The shrimp had that off flavor that I hate. The same flavor that the shrimp at Bonefish always seems to have. I like it when my shrimp tastes fresh and not ‘off’. Red Lobster seems to not have the off flavor problem.

    • says

      I actually bought my shrimp at Target. I am not sure what “off” flavor you are talking about because I have eaten at both Bodean’s and Bone Fish. If you like you can also try the White River Fish Market on N. Sheridan.

  14. Veronica Figueroa says

    Oh, One question…..(I hope you answer before Sunday..lol)

    I’ve never seen Sofrito cubes, only the mix (not sure how it’s called)

    So what amount do you recommend using that?

    • says

      The cubes equal 1 Tbs. I am referencing my own sofrito recipe that I freeze into cubes using an ice tray. You can find the recipe under the Pantry drop down menu at the top of the page.

      Good Luck!

      • Veronica Figueroa says

        Oh Ok, thanks.

        I thought somehow sofrito came in like a dried cube like some herbs do. I’ve seen my mom do this with her sofrito from time to time. I will check out your recipe; I’ve never actually made my own, looking forward to it, it’s sooo much better than the store bought kind.

        Thanks for responding,
        Veronica

  15. Veronica Figueroa says

    WOW!!! Meseidy, this dish looks undescribable!! Listen, I don’t even like sea food but my husband does, and even though I don’t eat it I can cook it. I just promised my husband to make him a very special dinner this Sunday and it’s going to be THIS! He doesn’t know it yet; I am positive he’ll enjoy this and beg for more!

    I’ve been glancing through your website for a good year or so, I just admire your work but have never tried any of your recipes, well, this is the one! I can’t wait ’til Sunday, I’m positive it will be a success.

    I will keep you posted on how it turned out and my husband’s reactions and comments!

    Thanks
    Veronica

  16. Jeanette says

    As exotic as this dish sounds, you made it so accessible for someone like me to cook. I enjoyed reading your history behind the dish. Amazing you’re such a good writer having missed all that English class! I loved the photography and can totally see me making something like this because of how you presented the info. Thanks!!

  17. says

    “Go fried or go home” – there’s a philosophy I can really get behind! And now that I am more informed on the subject of dealing with plantains (yes, I used to try peeling them like a banana), I will be buying and frying them forthwith, so thank you for that :)

  18. says

    Oh my goodness, I’m dying for a bite of that! As an English teacher, it was hard to bring myself to vote for this (just kidding ;) but the food won me over! You have a vote from me!

    My own post is a romp through croissant making that’s filled with humor, exhaustion, and a little bit of popstar glamor. Come see if you’d like :)

  19. says

    YUM. This post a) took me to my fiancee’s mom house, b) gave me a recipe to make me look less gringa and more latina at family gatherings :) Suerte, you have my vote!

  20. ana says

    This looks good. My friend tried to show me how to make Mofongo, but it came out real dry and not very good. I will try to make it again following your recipe and hopefully I get better results!

  21. Ammie says

    Thank you for the recipe, I will be making this this coming weekend! And I know my husband will be thanking you too – he’s Puerto Rican and I am not so I need all the step by step lessons I can get!

  22. says

    Wow, this is totally impressive! And makes the perfect meal :) I love that you chose to do this with step-by-step photos because it’s the kind of meal, you really want to see coming along as you follow the process. Fabulous post!! :)

  23. says

    Wow, you made that dish look amazing! This is honestly something I never thought of cooking, but after reading your post and seeing the step by step photo tutorial, I think I will. You’ve inspired me! Great entry! (VOTE!) Good luck advancing in the competition!

  24. Edward says

    I believe you capture your challenge perfectly.Step by step,picture by picture.Clear and understanding.You rock you got my vote

  25. Loyda says

    great recipe…I’ll have to try this one day for my dad…I remember that my made it once in a while and how much he loved it. You got my vote..girl!

  26. daisy says

    You sound like Guy Fieri when he taste the mofongo for the first time in the food network show THE BEST THING I’VE EVER ATE (FRIED FOOD EPISODE) “I LONGO FOR MY MOFONGO” i am from pr i lived there 26 years (i’m 31) in the island, and never tried mofongo…. believe it or not… But this look so good that i want to do it myself and try it for the first time….. thanx for the recipe…

  27. says

    I can just about smell and taste this dish…it takes me back to living with my Puerto Rican roommate, and she’d make mafongo and Puerto Rican rice for us on Sundays… beautiful job! You’ve got my vote, as always!

  28. says

    Perfect! OMG I want this now. I can not find good crabmeat in Germany, though to save my life. Maybe some halibut can replace? You’ve got my vote-again- for sure. Congrats and best of luck!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] In my previous post I gave you the run down on green plantains and how to peel them.  Here we have ripe plantains.  They look like they are bad and ready to be tossed, but don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  This is how you want them to look if you want them sweet. [...]

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