Delicious Dominican Cuisine

A Buen Tiempo... Buen Provecho! ;)

Dominican Mashed Plantains/Mangu Dominicano


Here in the U.S., one of the most common side dishes at dinner time is mashed potatoes.  In our Country, it’s the “Mangu,” which is basically mashed plantains.  The only difference is that we eat Mangu for breakfast (it’s an essential item for a “Tripletazo” (but that will be a different post), lunch and dinner since it goes well with meat, eggs, vegetables, etc.

Often times, making mangu can be tricky because it can come out hard and dry since plantains are not very soft when they cool down after cooking.  This recipe is very easy to make and the mangu comes out really creamy, savory and just really delicious! It stays soft even after re-heating it the next day if you save it as a left over.

To make this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

4 Plantains
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons butter (may use a butter substitute like margarine)
1/2 cup Cold water (DO NOT SUBSTITUTE WITH HOT WATER)
1 tsp Salt

Fill a pot halfway with water, put on high heat.

While water is heating, peel the plantains.  I usually rub my hands with cooking oil to peel the plantains, it really makes washing your hands easier because the oil doesn’t let the stain from the plantains stick on your hands as much.

To peel the plantain, cut the ends off of,

Cut a thin line down each side of the plantain,

Pull the peel apart, use a pairing knife if the peel is very difficult to pull away.

Once the plantains are peeled, for quicker cooking, I cut them in half,

Then, slice each half in the middle (to get 4 pieces from each plantain),

Once all plantains are peeled to in the water (it’s ok if the water is not boiling yet), cover and bring to a boil.

When the plantains come to a boil, add a generous amount of salt (a tablespoon is about the amount I add),

Let the plantains boil until they are fork tender (about 20 – 25 minutes).

Drain ALL of the hot water,

While the plantains are hot, add the butter or margarine (I prefer to use margarine),

Then add the olive oil,

Then add the salt.  You may adjust the salt level, but I’ve made this recipe too many times to count and I think that 1 tsp is the perfect amount.

Now, mash the plantains (don’t add the water yet), this is just to ensure the butter (or margarine) melts and to dissolve the salt as well.

After mashing briefly, add 1/2 cup of Cold water (NOT HOT WATER), don’t ask me why but adding cold water makes the mangu really soft and if you put it in the refrigerator then reheat, the mangu is not hard.  It’s an old trick that has been passed down by generations and most of the seasoned Dominican cooks I know mash their mangu with cold water as well (same way my mom taught me).

After adding the water, mash some more until the mangu is thoroughly combined.  If you are finding that your mangu is still very dry, just add more cold water.  Add 1/4 cup more at a time, for me a 1/2 cup is the perfect amount because you don’t want watery mangu.

After mashing for a couple of minutes, see how soft and creamy it gets.

One of the most popular items that mangu is paired with is sauteed onions and fried salami (there is even a song dedicated this dish called “platano con salami” :) )

If you prefer to serve it as a side dish  and omit the onions, it works well with meat, eggs, veggies, cheese, etc.

Buen Provecho! ;)

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  1. carmen

     /  November 8, 2011

    Thank you for your recipe. I looked at other recipes and liked yours the most. Not only did you have pictures but explained everything step by step…and it turned out delicious. Just like in a restaurant. I like to eat mine with bacalao guisao!! By the way I’m Puertoriquena but I love your mangu. Thanks a lot.
    Carmen..

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  November 8, 2011

      Carmen,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. I love mangu with bacalao guisado myself, it’s such a great combination. :)
      Janet

      Reply
  2. Jason

     /  January 30, 2012

    Great job! Clearly explained and demonstrated. Thanks for the thorough effort.

    Reply
  3. Eric

     /  March 19, 2012

    Thanks alot carmen. Mi mangu came out great, thanks to ur thurough example. Soy dominicano tambien y muchos gracias. Una vaina bien

    Reply
  4. I loved it!!! I use your recipe step by step to make my very first mangu and my boyfriend loved it!! (I’m hondurean and he is dominican) which is why I wanted to learn how to make it because it’s all he asks for after he comes back from a hard day/week in the field (US Army) so thank you so much for your thruough explainantion :)

    Reply
  5. Ray

     /  August 14, 2012

    Hey, this is very well done and easy to understand. I was wondering if you could tell me at which point i would add cheese if i wanted it with cheese. My girlfriend always makes it like that and i want to surprise her.

    Reply
  6. Karina

     /  September 30, 2012

    Amazing! Easy to follow steps and delicious results. Gracias! now my Cuban boyfriend wants mangu everyday. I’m Dominican but never really knew how to make this, thank you so much.

    Reply
  7. Alexandra

     /  October 6, 2012

    I definitely have to try adding cold water to soften it. Thank You.

    Reply
  8. Ruth

     /  October 22, 2012

    I love trying out different foods defitnitley.

    Reply
  9. Alexa & Miguel

     /  December 1, 2012

    Thank you so much for all of your thorough recipes. My boyfriend is Dominican, and we love coking together. Your well planned out recipes and photos have made our cooking adventures a wonderful and successful experience! Thank you so much!!! Alexa & Miguel

    Reply
  10. Abby

     /  January 24, 2013

    Omg thanks for the recipe. ..I love the way u have the picture. ..I love mangu…I’m the from Trinidad and Tobago when I move to nyc..I had. Friends who this dish dat love. ..thank u again. .

    Reply
  11. Aida Martinez

     /  February 2, 2013

    I agree with you, ths is one of the best green plantain recipes. Thank you for your kidness.

    Reply
  12. Sabrina

     /  February 7, 2013

    Thank u for explaining the cold water trick I heard this before but never knew the reason why. Have u heard of mashing in chopped garlic with the butter? How does that turn out w ur recipe? Also I want to make it w the queso de freir (tropical) but I’m moving to a very American area and don’t know what type of cheese would be good for frying. Do you know a brand/type I can substitute if there are no Latino markets? Also I have no idea what type of hard salami?! What is the brand?

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  March 28, 2013

      Sabrina,
      Yes you can certainly add chopped garlic and butter to mash the plantains, it will give the mangu a nice garlic flavor.

      You’d be surprised, many of the big supermarkets carry Spanish salami and frying cheese. Let me know if you have trouble finding any and maybe I can do some research and test out some alternative brands.
      - Janet

      Reply
  13. Amy Elliott Polanco

     /  March 8, 2013

    Is mangu truly mangu without the red onions? Not in our home. I loved your step by step guide in how to make this dish, and the one on how to do the onions correctly too. I could eat this dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thanks for sharing once again!

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  March 28, 2013

      Amy,
      You’re welcome! I agree, the onions truly make the dish! ;)
      - Janet

      Reply
  14. Miss Wadadli

     /  March 28, 2013

    Hi…This looks very good. Is there a version of this recipe that uses ripe plantains? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Janet O.

       /  March 30, 2013

      Miss Wadadli,
      You can use the same recipe with ripe plantains, just omit the cold water. You can add a little water to soften it and make the mangu but it doesn’t necessarily have to be cold.
      Janet

      Reply
  15. Vilma Vega

     /  April 5, 2013

    After so many years of trying to make Mangu, it always came out dry, I never understood why Mami’s was always so creamy… I can’t wait to try the water trick….. I’ll write back to let you know if it was a success! :)

    Reply
  16. jonathan severino

     /  April 16, 2013

    Great job on the recipe. I usually make it for breakfast. And it comes out great

    Reply
  17. Nicole

     /  April 20, 2013

    Perfect mangu recipe! I did not know that adding cold water to the mangu is best. Thanks:)

    Reply
  18. Charlie

     /  April 21, 2013

    Just made your recipe today..AMAZING!! Your awesome thanks soo much

    Reply

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