Puerto Ricans have been living in New York City since the middle of the 19th century, but it was the Great Migration of the 1940s that firmly rooted Puerto Ricans into the core cultural composition of New York City. There are few foods more iconic in Puerto Rican cuisine than mofongo. Typically made of fried green plantains mashed in a pilón (a wooden mortar and pestle) with broth, chicharrónes (pork cracklings), garlic, and oil, mofongo is also popular in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. This mofongo uses seasoned seitan to deliver the expected textures and flavors of this quintessential Puerto Rican dish. Serve mofongo on top of cooked rice or with grilled vegetables.
Mofongo: Puerto Rican Fried Plantains With Seitan [Vegan]
- Peel the plantains and cut them into 1/2-inch slices. In a large bowl, combine the plantain slices, water, and salt. Allow the plantains to soak for 15 minutes. Remove the plantains and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess water. While the plantains are soaking, combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, adobo spice mix, paprika, and smoked paprika in a bowl. Add the seitan and toss to coat. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat another 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the plantains to the skillet and fry until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the plantains and transfer to plate covered with a paper towel to absorb the oil.
- In the same skillet, add the seitan and cook until it is crispy on all sides, about 5 minutes.
- Combine the seitan, plantains, garlic, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and vegetable broth in a food processor. Pulse until combined into a mashed texture. Don’t overprocess; it should be chunky.
- Fill a 1-cup bowl with one-quarter of the mofongo and press it down to pack it tightly. Loosen the mofongo with a knife around the sides of the bowl, turn it upside down, and drop it on a plate in a mound.