Today I’m bringing you a recipe I grew up eating in the Dominican Republic and a staple for breakfasts all over the Caribbean island – Mangú, also known as Dominican Mashed Plantains. If you’re hungry for more international recipes, get ready!
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know I’m originally from the Dominican Republic, an island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, where it’s always warm and sunny! And to start our days, more so on leisurely weekends with the family, my mother would make a big Dominican breakfast with the main dish to be mangú. This Caribbean dish of mashed green plantains served with accompaniments such as fresh avocados from our backyard, fried cheese, eggs, and salami, plus pickled red onions, was something my brothers and I looked forward to on the weekends. To sit around the table with all these goodies laid out, still in our pajamas, with cartoons blasting in the background….oh to be able to go back for one last breakfast as a kid!
The great thing is that green plantains can be found almost everywhere now a days, as Latin cuisine and culture is spread through every corner of the United States. Even here in New England, my local Stop & Shop carries both yellow and green plantains at all times – and they’re also really inexpensive at 25 cents each! If you’ve never had plantains, the best way to explain them is to compared them to a starchier potato, but not really? They’re in a league all on their own in my opinion.
Plantains are also packed with health benefits which I love, since I love eating them. Here’s what we’re talking about in terms of why eating plantains is healthy for you:
- Fiber: we all know what fiber does – but just a reminder, it keeps things moving along
- Vitamin C: always a good vitamin to have, packed with antioxidants
- Vitamin A: great for vision and your immune system
- Vitamin B6: helps the body make serotonin, which influences mood, and melatonin, which helps regulate the body clock
- Potassium: crucial to heart function
With all these healthy benefits, I think we should all try to incorporate plantains into our diets more often. One of my favorite health bloggers, Organic Olivia, has a full post on 10 Plantain Benefits, which I definitely suggest you check out! Let me know in the comments if you’ve had plantains and what your favorite way of eating them is.
- 6 green plantains
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- Set a medium sized pot filled with water to boil. In the meantime, peel the plantains by trimming both ends with a pairing knife, scoring a line down the center and using thumbs, removing the peel. Cut into thirds.
- Once water is boiling, season with salt and drop in plantains, cooking until tender, about 15-20 minutes. While the plantains cook, make the quick pickled onions by placing vinegar, water, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and pour over sliced red onions already in a jar or bowl. Let sit for the time the plantains cook.
- Drain plantains from water, saving one cup of the starchy water - this is what makes mashing them easy and results in a super smooth result.
- Place plantains back in pot, add olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mash and drizzle in hot starchy water until desired consistency is reached. Serve with pickled red onions, eggs, or your favorite cheese!