Mangu, a Dominican classic, is a regular in my kitchen—and I’m not talking about just for breakfast! It’s versatile, going beyond the traditional Dominican breakfast Los Tres Golpes, and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Mangu can be served with steak, chicharrones, chicken, and even shrimp. This is not to be mistaken with mofongo though, which is prepared entirely different and originates from Puerto Rico.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Authentic Dominican flavors. Get ready to savor a taste from the Caribbean! Dishes like this bring the authentic flavors that define the heart and soul of Dominican cuisine right into your kitchen!
- Versatility. Mangu is more than just a delicious side dish, it’s a versatile component of Dominican cooking. It pairs perfectly with so many delicious main courses like bistec encebollado, camarones guisados, and chicharrones.
- Budget friendly. Mashed plantains are a side dish that won’t break the bank. Enjoy the richness of Dominican flavors without compromising on your wallet.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Green plantain. The main ingredient in mangu, creating that signature thickness and hearty consistency.
- Butter. Gives the mashed plantains a richer taste and texture.
- Cold water. The secret to achieving that smooth consistency in our mashed plantains.
- Salt and pepper. Essential seasonings that bring out the natural flavors of the ingredients, creating a well balanced taste.
Recommended for this recipe
A plantain masher is just as essential as a potato masher. This one has a slightly curved base to fit the corners of any bowl and a wide no-slip grip.
The caldero heats things up evenly and adds layers of flavor as you go. It’s like your kitchen’s flavor building sidekick!
Step by step instructions
- In a large bowl, mash the softened plantains with the preserved cooking water and butter using a masher. Add cold water and continue mashing until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Recipe tips & tricks
- Use firm, unripe green plantains, since these will provide the starch needed for signature mangu consistency.
- For a smoother consistency, mash the plantains while they’re still hot after they’ve been boiled.
Mangu pairs great with a variety of dishes. Here are some suggestions:
- Make it for breakfast. Serve boiled, mashed plantains with fried salami, cheese, eggs, sliced avocado, and onion and you have yourself Los Tres Golpes, the traditional Dominican breakfast.
- Serve as a side dish with salami guisado or chicharrones, or even a delicious steak.
- Enjoy it on its own. While it’s usually served as a side dish to complement other main courses, mangu can also be a great stand alone option when topped with flavorful onion and a slice of avocado.
- In the fridge. Store mangu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, ensuring it’s fully cooled before storing.
- In the freezer. To freeze, portion mangu into airtight containers or freezer bags, remove excess air, and store for up to 2-3 months.
- To reheat. Warm up in the microwave, adding a teaspoon of butter to the mangu as needed for the desired consistency and moisture.
Why is Mangu Dominicans and African?
Mangu originated in the Congo region, where a similar dish called “mangusi” is made with boiled plantains. The term “mangu” is derived from the West African word “mangusi,” referring to any mashed vegetable from the earth. Grateful to our African ancestors for this delicious recipe!
What’s the difference between Mangu and Mofongo?
Mangu and Mofongo, both featuring green plantains, differ in texture and origin. Mangu, from the Dominican Republic, is smooth and creamy from boiling and mashing. In contrast, Mofongo is from Puerto Rico and is denser due to frying before mashing. Mangu’s versatility suits various toppings, while Mofongo is usually shaped into domes and complements rich sauces and meats.
Is Mangu healthy?
Mangu is made from boiled and mashed green plantains and while it may not be inherently unhealthy, its nutritional value can be influenced by preparation methods. The starchy and savory taste of mangu is a result of the plantains’ unique flavor. To make it healthier, consider choosing heathy fats like avocado oil. Additionally, balancing portion sizes and choosing healthier sides can help maintain mangu as a wholesome meal.
Dominican Mangu (Mashed Plantains)
- 2 green plantain
- 6 cups water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp cold water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Peel plantains by cutting along the edges and then chop them into quarters.
- Boil plantain pieces in water on medium to high heat until soft. Once done, remove plantains, saving about ¼ cup of cooking water.
- In a large bowl, mash the softened plantains with the preserved cooking water and butter using a masher. Add cold water and continue mashing until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. Buen provecho!