Alcapurria is a famous Puerto Rican snack typically made from green bananas and taro root stuffed with meat, then fried. This snack can be bought along the beach kiosks and street vendors.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Alcapurria is a well-known Puerto Rican snack filled with meat, usually beef with tomato sauce, then fried. It is also one of the tastiest appetizer staples of Puerto Rican cuisine.
This dish is typically made with green bananas and taro root, which serves as the exterior of the alcapurria. The filling is usually made from beef, but others also use other protein alternatives such as crab, chicken, or another protein.
The ingredients in making alcapurria vary from chef to chef and also from families. Others may assemble the fritters in one day, and some also prefer letting the banana and taro mixture sit overnight.
Another variation of this is adding green peas, vegetables, and other spices into the filling. Typically, the filling only includes meat, tomato sauce, adobo seasoning, and achiote seasoning.
Alcapurrias are finger food. So, grab a table napkin and get yourself a taste of alcapurrias! You can also enjoy it by dipping it into a hot sauce for a kick.
Puerto Rican Alcapurria Recipe
- Ground beef - 1 ½ lb or 680g
- Canola oil - 5 tbsp
- Sofrito - 2 tbsp
- Tomato sauce - ¼ cup or 55g
- Yellow onion, chopped - ½
- Green olives - ¼ cup or 180g
- Adobo seasoning - 1 ½ tsp, 1 ¼ tbsp for the fritters
- Garlic powder - ½ tsp
- Ground black pepper - ¼ tsp
- Sazon Culantro and Achiote seasoning - 1 packet or 35g
- Green bananas - 3
- Taro root (yucca root) - 1 ½ lb
- Green plantain - 1
- Salt - ¾ tbsp
- Vegetable oil or any preferred oil - 6 cups
- Non-stick cooking spray and wax paper
- Hot sauce (optional)
For the meat/filling:
- Place a skillet over medium-high heat and put in your oil—Cook the onions and sofrito for 1 minute.
- Add in the ground beef along with the adobo seasoning, garlic powder, pepper, and achiote seasoning.
- Mix together and cook for 6 minutes or when the meat is brown. Then add the tomato sauce.
- Once done, set it aside to cool.
For the fritters:
- Using a knife, peel the skin off the taro root, plantain, and bananas.
- Chop them into 1-inch pieces to process quickly.
- Put the chopped taro root, plantain, and bananas in the food processor and pulse until completely smooth. Push down the larger chunks to the bottom as you go.
- If you don’t have a food processor, grate them using the small holes on the box grater.
- Once done, transfer them into a large bowl, add garlic powder, salt, and Sazon Culantro and Achiote seasoning.
- Refrigerate the mixture for an hour for easier assembly. However, this step is optional.
- Start assembling the fritters by greasing the wax paper with non-stick cooking spray.
- Put a heaping ¼ cup dough on the centre of the paper, then spread thinly.
- Add 3 tbsp of meat to the centre of the dough, and wrap both ends of the paper over each other to make a cylinder-shaped fritter, covering the meat mixture.
- Push down on the dough to seal the meat. Make sure to cover both ends and fill all holes.
- Heat oil over a large, high-walled skillet or deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.
- Slide the alcapurria one at a time into the hot oil. Fry each side for 2 to 3 minutes or 5 to 6 minutes when using a deep-fryer.
- When the alcapurria turns golden brown, take them out and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the grease.
- Serve immediately while it’s hot with hot sauce if desired.
Photo credit: Trawin