Saturday, February 12, 2011

Alcapurrias Attempt #2

While I was doing my grocery shopping yesterday I spotted some very green plantains in the produce department. This is very rare for the Midwest. Most of the time you cannot find plantains, and when you do they are yellow. Malanga is something you NEVER see here, but I had frozen some that had been shipped to me from Miami last summer. As fate would have it, I found in my hands the two main ingredients that I needed to make alcapurrias.  Now, here's the tricky part. I've never had an alcapurria.  I don't know what it's supposed to taste like, and although I had bought 3 large green plantains I did not want to sacrifice them in an attempt to make something I've never tasted!

What you're supposed to do: (basic recipe)

5 medium green plantain
1 pound yautía (taro root)
2 teaspoons salt

Peel the green plantains and place in a bowl of cold salted water.
Peel and wash the yautías and place in a bowl of cold salted water.
Grate the bananas and yautías. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and mix well. Set aside.

What I did:

1/2 medium green plantain
same amount of malanga
sprinkling of salt

Grate the plantain and malanga. Mix with a fork. Take about 1 tablespoon of the mixture and press it into the palm of your hand. Take a teaspoon of your filling (I made picadillo the night before) and place that in the center, then another tablespoon of the mixture on top, form it into a ball. Repeat. (I ended up with only 3 alcapurrias.... it was experimental!)

 Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a frying pan and drop in your alcapurrias. Lower heat to medium, you want to make sure that the inside cooks. Fry til golden brown, turning with a slotted spoon.

The taste test.
I called my daughter and her boyfriend who had eaten alcapurrias in Chicago last year to judge whether this concoction resembled what they had eaten. No, it didn't; it was better! Yay!

You may be wondering what I did with the other half of the plantain.  I grated it and mixed it with equal parts grated malanga, 2 cloves of crushed garlic and salt, and made tiny fritters, Yum!


  1. two new words I learned today: alcapurrias and malanga and I would eat them minus the picadillo or I'm sure I can substitute correct?

    on another note: are you loving this warm weather? I am!!

  2. Loving the warm up.
    The fritters above were made with the mixture minus the meat. You can use yuca in place of the malanga. There may be another word for malanga, as I believe that yautia or taro is about the same. Alcapurrias are a Puerto RIcan dish.

  3. You are wonderful for trying this again! It looks really good!!! You rock, woman!

  4. Thank you Sharline. I think this is my last attempt until I actually eat an authentic one.

  5. I'm going to make "ALcapurrias" when my hand get's better, the authentic one's don't seem hard.

    Just grate equal malanga and platano verde but on the smallest part of the grater so it becomes like a thick paste (like similar to the paste some Cubans make for Malanga fritters, you can see my grandmas Malanga fritters in syrup:

    add achiote oil until it turns a light yellow,, season with salt to taste.

    Use oiled plate to just splat a big ole- spoonful of batter, indent kinda, throw your picadillo make sure it somehow all get's enveloped and slide into hot oil.

    I'm excited to make em!!!!!!!!!! lol.

    there's a yuca version too

  6. However i do know it's a pain in the @$$ to grate these starchy veggies in the finest part of grater but the texture is worth it.

  7. We never had alcapurrias in my family and I asked my father and hes' never heard of them. So this is probably, as you point out, a Puerto Rican dish. I also never heard the combination of malanga and plátano, which seems a little odd to me... I will ask my friend from the Dominican Republic if they make something like this. It fascinates me to find the origins and learn about unusual foods and dishes. Perhaps they make something similar in the eastern part of Cuba (Oriente) with a different name. Both the alcapurrias and the frituritas look wonderful! XOXOXO

  8. Nathan, you are right about the consistency, I probably should have put them through a food processsor. Although theses tasted good to a novice.

    Pedro, I never heard of them either until last year, but I've been intrigued enough to try. Now, I'll stop! LOL


  9. Pedro,
    Adding malanga to the plantain is to give moisture and tenderness to the batter, but then again if the batter was just malanga it wouldn't have enough body so both are used (if one had done grated it to a paste). Im not an expert though just stuff i observe, I may be wrong lol. if the batter was just green plantain it would be too stiff and hard. Kind of like the Cuban "Bacan" (tamales de oriente) which are green plantain tamales, the grated to a paste green plantain is to stiff so they mix it with coconut milk until it's a moist batter. I learned my lesson the hard way following the measurements of making Bacan to a tee instead of using my common sense or experience, when they cooled they were soooo hard! :/

  10. Ivonne, good try on the Alcapurrias, if you ever want to learn the real way to make alcapurrias and the ingredients, I can send you the stuff and the ingredients so you can try it. Let me tell you that their is an alcapurria masa maker Is been out for years now..

  11. Any one know of an alternate root to use?