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Island Bites: Alcapurrias (Puerto Rican Green Banana & Root Vegetable Fritters)

Updated on April 29, 2017

Alcapurria is a common and delicious street food in Puerto Rico. You can find these crispy goodies in every kiosk around the island. It is a fried green banana and yautía dough filled with seasoned ground beef. You can also find seafood alcapurrias that are usually filled with crabmeat.

  • Yautía is commonly confused with malanga or taro root. Yautia (Xanthosoma) is native to tropical America, while malanga or taro (Colocasia) is native to southeast Asia.


  • You could make alcapurrias dough using only green bananas.
  • You could also shape the alcapurrias using a big serving spoon.
  • You could freeze uncooked alcapurrias and fry them frozen.

5 stars from 4 ratings of Island Bites Alcapurrias

Dough Ingredients

  • 10 green (unripe) banana, peeled
  • 1 lb yautía, peeled
  • 1 Green (unripe) plantain, peeled
  • salt
  • oil for frying

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup sofrito
  • 2 oz tomato sauce/pure
  • 1/2 roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 5-8 olives, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • oil

If you don't have sofrito, use:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 culantro leaves (you could substitute with 2 tbs cilantro)


  1. Brown ground beef in a couple tablespoons of oil. Add onions, peppers, garlic. Saute at medium temperature for 2 or 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce, herbs and spices, olives, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside
  2. Finely grate yautía, green bananas and plantains into a large bowl. You could use a food processor to puree the dough. Add 2 tsp salt and about 2 or 3 tbs of the cooked meat liquid.
  3. Fry a tablespoon of the dough to adjust salt if necessary.
  4. Heat 2 or 3 inches of oil at medium high temperature.
  5. Smear a little oil in a piece of aluminum paper or parchment paper. Spread about 1/4 cup of the empanada dough onto the paper. Place one or two tablespoons of the meat filling in the middle.Fold over one side of the foil to cover the meat. Press to seal ends. Peel away the foil and use the help of a spoon to slide the dough gently into the hot oil.
  6. Fry until well browned on one side. Flip and brown well on the second side, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a cooling rack to drain. Serve hot.


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    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 5 months ago from Puerto Rico

      Sure, I hope you like it! Thanks for the comments!

    • Spanish Food profile image

      Lena Durante 5 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      Thank you so much, IslandBites! I'm eager to try this recipe, and of course I'd rather use yautia but I'm not sure where to get it. I'll check a few markets before I just use green banana. I appreciate the advice!

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 5 months ago from Puerto Rico

      Taro is softer than yautía. I would recommend to use only green banana if you can't find yautia. If you decide to use taro, I would use less taro, maybe 1/2 lb for this recipe.

    • Spanish Food profile image

      Lena Durante 5 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      YUM. If you can't find yautía in your grocery store, can taro be substituted?

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 3 years ago from Puerto Rico


    • Thief12 profile image

      Thief12 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Mmm, tasty!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

      These fritters sound very simple yet amazing! Thanks a lot for sharing. Rated up!

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 4 years ago from Puerto Rico


    • WhatToCook profile image

      Brenda 4 years ago from Springfield, MO

      These look yummy, Thanks for the share.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      The ingredients aren't exactly of common use but your recipe looks delicious. It is an easy and fast snack. The combination of crab with banana should be interesting.

    • Same DiNamics profile image

      Dianne Hunt 4 years ago from Maryland

      Alcapurrias is one of my favorite snacks to eat! I miss them dearly. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Yeah, those are mostly latin ingredients, but it is delicious. Hope someday you can try an alcapurria. Thanks!

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America

      These ingredients are totally unknown to me but the end result of your recipe sounds delicious. Some day perhaps I'll find out what I have been missing. Thank you for a delicious sounding recipe.