by Destiny DeJesús @eatyodestiny
This Black History Month, we're celebrating Afro-Latin flavors, ingredients, and cooking traditions. To kick off our celebration, we're making Destiny DeJesús's vegan take on a classic mofongo. Made with fried green plantains that are mashed in a pilón (mortar and pestle) and prepared with fresh garlic and chicharron (pork skin), this Puerto Rican dish is also quite popular in Dominican and Cuban cuisine. It's roots come from the slaves of Angola and other regions of Africa, and the mashing technique used to make the dish is influenced by indigenous people.
There are many different meat or seafood-based variations of mofongo, but it can easily be made vegan. Something that I’ve learned since going vegan is that when sharing veganized traditional foods with friends and family, it’s important to keep the flavor! My favorite vegan mofongo topping is mushrooms, which easily mimic the meaty texture people are looking for from this dish and soak up lots of sabor. Thanks to my Loisa Sazón, Adobo, y Sofrito, this dish delivers on the deliciously savory taste of traditional mofongo– made a little bit healthier.
Vegan Mushroom Mofongo
Add 2 cups of frying oil to a caldero or deep pot and heat over a medium flame.
While the oil is heating, prepare your plantains. Chop off the ends of the plantains and gently slice down through just the skin. Peel the skin off and chop plantains into 1⁄2 inch pieces.
Once your oil is hot, add 3 cloves of garlic along with your plantains and fry until golden brown, about 3 - 5 minutes. Remove and place into a pilon, or wooden mortar and pestle. Alternatively, use a bowl and the bottom of a cup.
To another pot, add your bouillon, cilantro, and onion with 2 cups of water. Turn on low heat and simmer for about 10 minutes to create a broth.
Now, let's prepare the mushrooms. In a medium-sized pan, add 1 tbsp of oil and your Sofrito and place on medium heat. Once the sofrito starts to heat up, add the mushrooms. Season with 1 tsp each Sazón and Adobo and cook for about 10 minutes.
While the mushrooms cook, add 1/3 cup of your broth and your vegan butter to the pilon or bowl along with 1/2 tsp each of Sazón y Adobo. Mash until all the ingredients are well incorporated, adding a splash of broth if the mixture gets too dry.
To serve, press half of the mixture into a small bowl, then flip it over onto a serving dish to form a "mountain." Add 1/2 of the cooked mushrooms and pour as much broth over the mushrooms and mofongo as desired. Repeat for the second serving.