When people think of Puerto Rico they often think of its lush jungles, rivers, mountains, and miles of beautiful coastline. But the Island is also home to lively music, friendly people, and delicious food.
While nothing beats experiencing the real thing, you can make delicious Puerto Rican meals at home.
Here are a few irresistible Puerto Rican dishes – from around the web – that celebrate all that Puerto Rico has to offer. They can be served separately or paired together as a traditional Puerto Rican meal.
Sofrito, in Latin cuisine, is a mixture of garlic, cilantro, onions, and peppers. Often, the recipes are like heirlooms, each one is a little different. This one calls for parsley, oregano, and cumin.
- 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 large Spanish onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cups fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
- 2 cups fresh Italian parsley, leaves and stems
- ½ cup fresh oregano, leaves and stems
- 20 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
Purée all of the ingredients until smooth. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 275F for five minutes to dry out a little. Transfer the sofrito to a small airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Anthony Lamas’ Puerto Rican Mofongo
This mofongo pairs slow-roasted pork served over a plantain and bacon mash with a tangy citrus vinaigrette. For a classic presentation, serve it on a traditional pilon.
For the Plaintain Bacon Mash
- 4 semi-ripe plantains, peeled and roughly chopped
- ¼ cup diced Spanish onion
- ½ cup smoked bacon
- 1 teaspoon Chopped Garlic
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ¼ pound butter
For the Roasted Pork
- 3-5 pounds pork shoulder or Boston Butt
- 2 limes (juiced)
- 2 oranges (juiced)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 packet sazon seasoning mix (or achiote)
- ¼ cup Chopped Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
For the Mojo de Ajo (Sour Orange Vinaigrette)
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 limes (juiced)
- 3 oranges (juiced)
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 packet sazón
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 cup Olive Oil
For the Plantain Bacon Mash: In plain water, boil plantains until fairly soft but not mushy. In a separate pan, sauté onions and bacon until bacon is cooked through (about 5 minutes). Drain the plantains and add to the bacon-onion mixture. Add all remaining ingredients and mash with potato masher. Keep warm or refrigerate to use later.
For the Roasted Pork: In a preheated 400-degree oven, roast the pork for about 45 minutes to an hour until golden brown. After the pork is browned, lower oven to 225 and cover pork tightly with aluminum foil. Continue to roast for 4 hours until pork is fork-tender.
For Mojo de Ajo: Combine all ingredients except olive oil in blender. After about 10 seconds add oil slowly, 1 tablespoon at a time. Chill in fridge for at least 10 minutes.
Presentation: In a 350 oven, heat about ½ cup plantain bacon mash, ¼ cup roasted pork for 10-12 minutes or until hot. In a small bowl, add bacon plantain mash and top it with roasted pork. Drizzle Mojo de Ajo over the top. You can also garnish with pico de gallo, green onions, or a crispy plantain chip.
Piragua de Crema de Mango con Vainilla (Mango Vanilla Cream Shaved Ice)
Rich in tropical flavor, mangoes pair naturally with creamy condensed milk and vanilla. Let the others scream for ice cream: we would rather yearn for a luscious Mango Piragua.
- 1 pound ripe mangoes, peeled, pits removed
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 cups shaved ice
Put the mango, both milks and vanilla in a blender. Puree until smooth. Divide the shaved ice between 4 tall glasses and pour mango syrup over each glass.