Neighborhood Kitchens

Merengue's Mofongo de Chicharron de Cerdo

Mofongo is a fried plantain dish with controversial origins. Puerto Ricans fiercely claim they invented this delicious dish of fried, green plantains and chicharrón while Dominicans, with equal ferocity, claim it is they who were really the creators. No matter the origins, mofongo is a very popular dish in both countries and is made from fried, green plantains mashed together in a pilón (a wooden mortar and pestle) with broth, garlic, olive oil, and chicharrón (pork cracklings). This is then often filled with vegetables, chicken, or other meat to create an even richer gustatory experience.


2 green plantains
1 tsp. adobo
1/2 lb. crisp fried pork rinds
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth


Peel the plantains and cut them into 1-inch slices. In a deep fryer, heat canola oil to 350 degrees. Add plantain slices and fry for 15 minutes, but do not brown. Drain on a paper towel.

In a mortar (for pounding), crush garlic cloves and sprinkle with adobo. Add olive oil to the mixture and keep pounding.

Crush a portion of the fried plantain slices and the pork. Add some of the garlic-olive oil mixture and chicken broth, and keep pounding.

Repeat until all the ingredients have been used. Spoon the mixture and shape into a round bowl.

Suggestions: Prepare additional chicken broth and serve with the mofongo for extra juicy experience. Buen Provecho!

Serves: 2


Chef Hector Piña is the owner of Merengue, the jewel of Dominican cuisine in Boston. He shared this recipe with us when he was featured as our guest on Neighborhood Kitchens.


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About Neighborhood Kitchens

Building on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.

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In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!

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Margarita's Neighborhood Visits

»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Roxbury: Merengue
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer

»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi


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