Island Bites: Alcapurrias (Puerto Rican Green Banana & Root Vegetable Fritters)
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.
- 10 green (unripe) banana, peeled
- 1 lb yautía, peeled
- 1 Green (unripe) plantain, peeled
- oil for frying
- 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
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)
- 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
- 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.
- Fry a tablespoon of the dough to adjust salt if necessary.
- Heat 2 or 3 inches of oil at medium high temperature.
- 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.
- 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.