Island Bites is a Puerto Rican cook with decades of experience in the kitchen. She's an expert in Latin American cuisine.
Green Banana and 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.
For the dough:
- 10 green (unripe) banana, peeled
- 1 pound yautía, peeled
- 1 green (unripe) plantain, peeled
- oil for frying
For the filling:
- 1 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup sofrito*
- 2 ounces tomato sauce/puree
- 1/2 roasted red pepper, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 5 to 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 tablespoons cilantro)
- Brown ground beef in a couple tablespoons of oil. Add onions, peppers and 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 teaspoons salt and about 2 or 3 tablespoons 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 on a piece of aluminum paper or parchment paper. Spread about 1/4 cup of the empanada dough onto the paper. Place 1 or 2 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.
Tips and Variations
- You can make alcapurrias dough using only green bananas.
- You can also shape the alcapurrias using a big serving spoon.
- You can freeze uncooked alcapurrias and fry them frozen.
IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on May 03, 2017:
Sure, I hope you like it! Thanks for the comments!
Lena Durante from San Francisco Bay Area on May 03, 2017:
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 (author) from Puerto Rico on May 02, 2017:
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.
Lena Durante from San Francisco Bay Area on May 02, 2017:
YUM. If you can't find yautía in your grocery store, can taro be substituted?
IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on March 01, 2014:
Carlo Giovannetti from Puerto Rico on July 05, 2013:
Om Paramapoonya on June 24, 2013:
These fritters sound very simple yet amazing! Thanks a lot for sharing. Rated up!
IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on June 22, 2013:
Brenda from Springfield, MO on June 22, 2013:
These look yummy, Thanks for the share.
Mike Robbers from London on June 09, 2013:
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.
Dianne Hunt from Maryland on June 08, 2013:
Alcapurrias is one of my favorite snacks to eat! I miss them dearly. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
IslandBites (author) from Puerto Rico on June 07, 2013:
Yeah, those are mostly latin ingredients, but it is delicious. Hope someday you can try an alcapurria. Thanks!
frogyfish from Central United States of America on June 07, 2013:
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.