Aunt Evelyn teaches us to mash tostones with garlic and cooked bits of salt pork to make a delicious side dish to a latin meal. We do not have a large mortar and pestle like Aunt Evelyn or her tostonera, so we improvise with a medium bowl, a pestle, and a glass.

Servings and Times

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Tools and Appliances

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We start by heating a large pan over medium heat. Using a sharp knife, under running water, we slice open each plantain and then, using our hands, we peel them. Lastly, we cut each plantain into 1-inch pieces on a bias (slant).

We pour in about an inch of oil into the pan. When the oil is hot, we add some of the plantain pieces, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for 3 minutes on each side. We want the plantains to be fork-tender but not too browned.

We remove the tender pieces one at a time from the pan with a fork, and place back on our cutting board. We flatten with the bottom of a glass and then place on a paper-towel lined plate while we continue with the rest of the plantains.

When all the pieces are flattened, we add the salt pork to the oil and cook for about 5 minutes. We want the salt pork cooked and the fat rendered. We drain the pieces out with a spoon and place in a medium sized metal bowl. We also add the garlic to the bowl.

When the oil is hot again, we raise the heat to medium-high and add the plantains back to the pan. We cook for 2 minutes, turn, and then cook for another 2 minutes. We want them browned and crispy. We remove the pieces to the paper-towel lined plate and then place in the metal bowl with the garlic and salt pork. With our pestle (from our mortar and pestle that we used to mash the garlic) we smash the fried plantains with the garlic and salt pork. When it is a nice crumbled consistency, we taste for seasoning, and then press some of it into a prep bowl to give it a shape. We continue until we have all of the mofongo done.

We serve hot.

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