Mangu is not a typical Trini food, but it is one of the most popular breakfast foods in the Dominican Republic.
Mangu is made by boiling peeled pieces of green plantain for 20 to 25 minutes, before removing, mashing and mixing the cooked pieces with salt, water, and butter or oil. It is traditionally served with a topping of sauteed red onions mixed with vinegar. In the Dominican Republic, it is served alongside eggs, fried cheese and salami.
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Ingredients for mangu
For this recipe, I used:
- green plantain: green plantains are traditionally used in this savory plantain recipe. Slightly turning, half-ripe plantains should also work but will have a slightly sweet taste, compared to the traditional mangu.
- red onion: the sauteed red onion garnish really is the star of the recipe for me. It tastes really good! And, you can add in other ingredients to the topping like bell peppers and even tomatoes.
- butter or oil: I used olive oil for this particular recipe, but I highly recommend using butter instead. The olive oil has a strong taste that comes through in the mangu and isn’t to everyone’s liking. You may prefer a buttery taste instead.
- vinegar: I used apple cider vinegar but you can use any fruit based vinegar for this recipe. The vinegar brings out the flavor of the red onions and really take them over the top!
- water: you’ll need water to boil the green plantains and when they’re soft, you can use the same starchy water when mashing the pieces. You can also discard the starchy, boiling water and use cold water for a thinner, softer mangu.
How to make this mangu recipe
Cook the plantain
Step 1: Wash the plantain and cut both ends off. Score the length of the fruit with a knife and use your fingers to pry the skin off the plantain.
Step 2: Cut the plantains in half along its length. Cut the plantain halves into smaller sections and thinner slices. The smaller the plantain pieces, the faster they will boil. You can also remove the plantain seeds in the center if you want a smoother mashed plantain mixture at the end.
Step 3: Place a large pot on medium heat. Add water (about 3 cups) and leave to come to a boil.
Step 4: Add salt and the plantain pieces to the water.
Step 5: Cook until the plantain has softened. This can take about 20 to 30 minutes.
Make the red onion topping
Step 6: Wash, peel and finely slice the red onion.
Step 7: Place a skillet on low heat. Allow to heat up.
Step 8: Pour in the oil or butter into the skillet. Add the red onion slices.
Step 9: Saute the red onion for 5 minutes or until it becomes translucent.
Step 10: Mix in the salt and vinegar. The vinegar causes the purple color of the onions to bleed into the entire onion and gives it a wonderful taste.
Step 11: Remove from the heat and set aside.
Bring everything together
Step 12: Remove the cooked green plantains from the pot, keeping the liquid.
Step 13: While hot, mash the plantains using a potato masher or the back of a fork.
Step 14: Add the salt, butter or oil, and some of the starchy liquid from the pot you used to boil the plantains. Mix to form a soft, mushy, creamy plantain puree. You can also use regular water and cold water too. Cold water will actually make the mangu softer, mushier and easy to mash, but this is optional and based on your preferences.
Step 15: Serve the mangu warm with the red onion garnish. I had this for breakfast with some scrambled eggs and a few slices of avocado. Enjoy!
Mangu (Mashed Green Plantains)
- 1 green plantain
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups water
Red onion garnish
- 1 red onion
- 1 tbsp butter or oil (like olive oil)
- 2 tsp vinegar (like apple cider)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter or oil (like olive oil)
- ½ tsp salt (adjust to taste)
- ¾ cup water (either starchy water from the boiled plantain or clean, cold water)
- Wash plantain. Cut off both ends.
- Score the length of the plantain.
- Pull off the skin.
- Slice the plantain along its length. Cut into smaller pieces.
- Place a large pot on medium heat.
- Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil (about 5 minutes).
- Mix in salt. Add plantain.
- Cook until the plantain becomes soft (about 20 to 30 minutes).
Saute red onions
- Wash red onion. Peel.
- Cut the onion into thin slices.
- Place a skillet on low heat. Leave to heat up (about 2 minute).
- Add 1 tbsp of butter or oil.
- Toss in the red onions. Stir.
- Cook the onions until translucent (about 5 minutes).
- Add salt and vinegar.
- Stir to mix completely.
- Remove from heat and set aside to use as a garnish.
- Remove cooked green plantain from the pot.
- Place the plantain pieces in a large plate or bowl.
- Mash the pieces while hot using a masher or the back of a fork.
- Add salt, butter or oil and 3/4 cup of water (starchy liquid or cold water).
- Mix to form a smooth, creamy, plantain puree.
- Serve warm with the red onion garnish.