Neighborhood Kitchens

Merengue's Tostones Rellenos de Camarones

Tostones are fried plantains pounded flat and then fried again to create a delicious chip. They are a staple in most Latin American cuisine and throughout the Caribbean and can be eaten alone as a snack or used as the base for another dish. In Tostones Rellenos de Camarones, these fried tostones serve as the perfect complement to a filling of shrimp cooked in a tasty red sauce.


1-1/2 lb. large shrimp, shelled and cut into three pieces
6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic, smashed or put through a garlic press
1/2 large sweet green pepper, diced
2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, diced
1/4 cup cooking wine
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 large green plantains
3 cups canola or corn oil for frying
10 small pimento stuffed olives for garnish
Lemon slices and tomato slices for garnish


Prepare Shrimp
In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add the onion, fresh garlic, green pepper, and cilantro, and sauté in the olive oil until the veggies are limp.

Add the wine, tomato sauce, oregano, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Sauté all very well, for about five minutes.

Lower the heat and add the cleaned and cut up shrimp. Let it cook until the shrimp turn pink. Do not raise the flame. Turn off the heat and remove from the burner. Leave it covered until ready to use.

Prepare Plantain Cups
Peel the plantains, cut them into 2-inch barrels, and fry them in oil of choice at 325 degrees for about 7 minutes, or until golden and soft inside. One plantain should make 4 cups.

Use a “tostonera,” or plantain press, to mash them down.

Fry the cups a second time at 365 degrees to get a crispy shell, careful not to let them turn too brown, and stuff them with the shrimp.

Serves: 4


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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