Colossal Shrimp Mofongo Recipe

If you're not familiar with Puerto Rican cuisine, you may have never tried mofongo. Well, now's the time to remedy that situation! Recipe developer Carlos Leo tells us that "Mofongo is the national dish [of] Puerto Rico, and the origins [of] this dish come from Africa." Okay, so what is mofongo, exactly? He explains that mofongo itself consists of fried plantains that are mashed with salt, garlic, and pork rinds. In its most basic version, this plain mofongo is served with a light broth to add some flavor to the dish.

In not-so-basic mofongo recipes, though, Leo says, "What you serve with the mofongo is where you can be creative ... [and] add anything that you like." This particular version tops the plain mofongo with a tasty topping of shrimp cooked in the spicy tomato/garlic sauce called sofrito, which Leo tells us can "complement and add moisture to the mofongo."

So, are you ready to get started on this colossal shrimp mofongo recipe? Let's get started.

Gather the ingredients for the shrimp mofongo

The shrimp Leo likes to use for this dish are colossal ones, which he says come about six to the pound. He does acknowledge that it can be difficult to find colossal shrimp, so he says, "You can use jumbo shrimp" instead. The sofrito is made with olive oil, garlic, butter, a yellow onion, both red and green bell peppers, red pepper flakes, white wine, chicken or vegetable stock, lemon juice, and parsley.

For the mofongo, you'll need pork rinds, a few more garlic cloves, and green plantains. Leo offers a tip about the plantains, saying "[An] easy way to know how many plantains to use and for how many servings: one plantain per person."

Make the mofongo

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it reaches 325 F. Make sure to use a deep fry thermometer to get the temperature just right. Fry the sliced plantains until they are golden brown on both sides (you'll need to turn them occasionally) or until they float to the top, which should take four to six minutes. You may need to do this in a few batches to avoid crowding the pan.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the plantains from the oil, reserving the oil for later use. Drain the plantains on paper towels. Meanwhile, mash three cloves of garlic with a teaspoon and a half of salt. If you are using a mortar and pestle, as Leo likes to do, he says, "Mash until you have a thin coating of garlic on the bottom." Add the plantain pieces and the pork rinds, a bit at a time, and mash until they are combined with the garlic. You may need to do this in batches as well, but be sure to mix everything together at the end along with two tablespoons of the oil left over from frying the plantains.

If you don't have a mortar and pestle, or the one you have isn't large enough to mash the plantains, Leo says, "You can use a round mixing bowl and the bottom of a clean bottle to mash the plantain[s]."

Cook the sauce and the shrimp

Let the mofongo sit for a bit while you cook the sauce. Melt the butter in a frying pan along with another two tablespoons of the leftover oil. Add the onions, peppers, and red pepper flakes to the butter/oil mixture, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for about four minutes. You want your veggies starting to soften but still with some "bite" left. Ad the remaining chopped garlic and cook for about a minute until it's nice and fragrant. Pour the wine into the pan and cook for another minute or two, then add the broth and lemon juice.

Use a pinch of salt to season the shrimp, then add the shrimp to the pan and cook for about three minutes until they are pink and opaque. Be sure to flip the shrimp so that both sides get cooked. Stir the parsley into the sauce.

Mold the mofongo and top with shrimp and sauce

Now back to the mofongo. Pack a third of the plantain mixture into a small bowl or a half-cup measure, then plop it onto a small plate. Top each serving of mofongo with a third of the shrimp and sauce. If you like, you can use some extra chopped parsley to garnish the dish.

With a nice balance of carbs, vegetables, and protein from the shrimp, this shrimp mofongo can be served as a main dish. If you're looking for a drink pairing, Leo says, "A cold beer is a perfect beverage for mofongo."

Colossal Shrimp Mofongo Recipe
4.9 from 19 ratings
If you're not familiar with Puerto Rican cuisine, you may have never tried mofongo. Well, now's the time to remedy that situation!
Prep Time
Cook Time
mofongo on wooden plate
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 4 cups olive oil
  • 3 green plantains, peeled and sliced into 1-inch-thick rounds
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ cups pork rinds
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced small
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced small
  • ⅓ green bell pepper, diced small
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound colossal grilling shrimp, cleaned, peeled, and de-veined
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • ⅓ cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Optional Ingredients
  • additional parsley, for garnish
  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet on medium-high until it reaches 325 F.
  2. Fry plantain slices, turning occasionally, until golden brown or until the plantains float to the top, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Remove plantains with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  4. Mash three garlic cloves with 1 ½ teaspoon salt.
  5. Add the fried plantain slices to the mashed garlic along with the pork rinds, and mash these ingredients all together until well combined.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil left in the skillet pan to the mashed garlic mixture as a binder.
  7. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil left from frying the plantains.
  8. Add the onions, bell peppers, and red pepper flakes to the melted butter and oil.
  9. Season the vegetables with a pinch of salt and cook for about 4 minutes until somewhat softened but still with some "bite" left.
  10. Add remaining garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
  11. Pour in the wine and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  12. Add the broth and lemon juice.
  13. Season the shrimp with a pinch of salt, add to pan, and cook until pink and opaque, about 3 minutes. Flip the shrimp so all sides are cooked.
  14. Stir in the chopped parsley.
  15. Firmly pack ⅓ of the mofongo (mashed plantain mixture) into a small bowl or ½ cup measure to mold, then turn the mold over onto a plate.
  16. Spoon the shrimp and sauce on top of the mofongo and garnish with more parsley if desired.
  17. Serve immediately.
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