Growing up in a Cuban family, one dish that always brought comfort and a burst of flavor to our table was Fufu de Platano [pronounced foo-foo de pla-ta-no].
This Cuban classic, made from boiled and mashed plantains, is a true taste of home. Similar to maduros (sweet plantains) and tostones, this humble yet delicious concoction embodies the essence of Cuban cuisine, combining the natural sweetness of ripe plantains with a touch of savory goodness.
Whether as a side dish or the star of the meal, Fufu de Platano’s versatility makes it a beloved favorite. Let me show you how to make it!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Authentic Cuban Flavors. This dish is a quintessential part of Cuban cuisine, and preparing it at home provides an authentic taste of Cuban flavors and traditions. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the rich food culture of Cuba and savor a beloved Cuban comfort food.
- Simple Ingredients, Big Flavor. Fufu de Platano is a testament to the magic of simple ingredients and traditional cooking techniques. With just a few readily available ingredients like plantains, garlic, salt, and olive oil, you can create a dish bursting with flavor.
- Versatility and Nostalgia. Fufu de Platano is not only a delightful side dish but also a versatile component of many Cuban meals. It pairs perfectly with a variety of main courses, from Cuban Picadillo, Arroz Con Pollo, or Camarones Enchilados.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Ripe Plantains. Yellow plantains are used for their sweet, creamy texture, they contrast beautifully with the savory elements in the dish, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
- Green Plantain. Provides the essential starchy base, lending to the signature thickness and hearty consistency of the boiled, mashed plantains.
- Olive Oil. Adds a subtle richness to the dish, enhancing its overall depth of flavor. Also, helps keep the pork belly pieces from sticking.
- Yellow Onions. Contribute a sweet and aromatic quality, complementing the dish’s other ingredients and adding complexity to the taste.
- Garlic. Provides a pungent kick of flavor, intensifying the savory profile of the dish and giving it that unmistakable Cuban flair.
- Lime. The zesty acidity offers a refreshing contrast to the richness of the pork and plantains, brightening up the overall taste.
- Chicken Stock. Serves as a flavorful liquid base, infusing the dish with a savory depth that ties all the ingredients together.
- Salt and Pepper. Season and balance the flavors, ensuring that each bite of the mashed plantains is perfectly seasoned and satisfying to the palate.
- Pork Belly. If you want to add some crunch to the fufu, you can fry up some pork belly pieces, sprinkle them on top, and/or fold them in.
When you’re done making this recipe, make my Chicharrones (Cuban-Style Fried Pork Belly)!
Recommended For This Recipe
A potato masher is an essential tool for creating creamy mashed dishes and saving time and effort in the kitchen.
- Boil the Plantains. In a large saucepan with salted water, bring to a boil and add green plantain chunks first. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes. Now, add in the ripe plantains and cook for another 10 minutes until the plantains are softened.
- Season and Saute the Pork. In the meantime, add two pinches of salt to the pork pieces. In a large skillet, heat olive oil at medium heat. Add the pork pieces and sauté until browned and crispy. Drain and transfer the pork pieces to a bowl but leave the pork drippings in the skillet.
- Create the Garlic-Onion–Lime Mixture. Heat the pork drippings at medium heat. Add the diced onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Set aside.
- Mash the Plantains. Drain the plantains and transfer to a bowl. Start mashing the plantains using a potato masher or a fork. Add 1/4 cup of chicken stock and 4-5 tablespoons of the garlic-onion-lime sauce and continue mashing.
- Fold in the pork pieces but leave some to sprinkle on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue adding chicken stock, 1/4 cup at a time, and mashing until you get a soft, thick paste-like consistency, like mashed potatoes.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Use firm, unripe green plantains for the initial boiling. These will provide the starchy base needed for the dish.
- Use ripe, yellow plantains for the second stage of cooking. They should have yellow skin with some black spots. These ripe plantains add sweetness and creaminess to the fufu.
- Achieve a smoother consistency by mashing the plantains while they’re still hot after they’ve boiled until softened.
- Control the texture with chicken stock. Add chicken stock gradually; start with 1/4 cup and add more as needed until you get your desired texture.
When you’re done making this recipe, make another one of my classic Cuban side dishes!
Fufu de Platano’s sweet and savory profile complements these main dishes to enhance the overall meal. It pairs wonderfully with delicious Cuban stews and soups, fish, chicken, and more. Here are some suggestions:
- Make it for breakfast. Serve boiled, mashed plantains with fried eggs and sliced avocado and you’ve got yourself a hearty breakfast for any day of the week!
- Serve as a side dish with Cuban Pollo Asado (Grilled or Roasted Chicken), Cuban Pollo a la Plancha (Easy Griddled Chicken Breast), or Churrasco Steak.
- Enjoy it on its own. While it’s often served as a side dish to complement other main courses, Fufu de Platano can also be a flavorful stand-alone option.
- In the fridge. Store Fufu de Platano in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Ensure it’s cooled completely before refrigerating. You may want to store the pork pieces separately to crisp up before reheating and serving.
- In the freezer. To freeze, portion Fufu de Platano into airtight containers or freezer bags, remove excess air, and store for up to 2-3 months.
- To reheat. Reheat in a microwave or on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. Add extra chicken stock as needed to achieve the desired consistency and maintain moisture. Crisp up the pork pieces on the stove before topping.
Fufu de Platano (Cuban Boiled Mashed Plantains)
- 2 large yellow medium-ripe plantains peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 large green plantain peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 lb pork belly cut into small 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup yellow onions finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 cup chicken stock divided
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan with salted water, bring to a boil and add green plantain chunks first. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes.
- Now, add in the ripe plantains and cook for another 10 minutes until the plantains are softened.
- In the meantime, add two pinches of salt to the pork pieces.
- Heat the pork drippings at medium heat. Add the diced onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Set aside.
- Drain the plantains and transfer to a bowl. Start mashing the plantains using a potato masher or a fork. Add 1/4 cup of chicken stock and 4-5 tablespoons of the garlic-onion-lime sauce and continue mashing.
- Fold in the pork pieces but leave some to sprinkle on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Continue adding chicken stock, 1/4 cup at a time, and mashing until you get a soft, thick paste-like consistency, like mashed potatoes.
- Serve hot!