For Marina’s Bistro chef-owner Eric Roldan, mofongo — a rib-sticking mash of garlicky plantains — has an elemental quality. “It represents the definition of what Puerto Rican cuisine is,” says Roldan, who likes to pair it with bistec encebollado or another stewed meat. While mofongo often incorporates chicharrones or mojo sauce, the simplified version in this recipe gets a flavor boost from store-bought adobo seasoning. Traditionally, the plantains are pounded with a pestle, but if you don’t have one on hand, a potato masher makes a fine substitute.

Marina’s Bistro’s Mofongo

Makes:4 servings
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:30 minutes

4Green plantains
¾ cupOlive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl
4Mashed or finely minced garlic cloves
4 tsp.Adobo seasoning (like Loisa brand)
2 cupsChicken broth

1. Prepare the plantains: With a paring knife, cut off the ends of the plantains, then make two slices along the length of each plantain’s peel. Work your fingers under the peels to remove them. Cut plantains into ½-inch rounds.

2. Fry the plantains: Heat oil in a large skillet set over medium-high. Arrange plantains in a single layer in the skillet and fry, turning halfway through, until they begin to brown, about 7 minutes.

3. Mash the plantains: Warm broth in a small saucepan. Combine garlic and adobo in a large bowl. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer plantains to the bowl. Pound plantains with a pestle until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add broth to plantains and continue mashing until combined.

4. Mold the mofongo: Lightly oil a small bowl and fill with a quarter of the mixture, pressing it with the back of a spoon to compact it slightly. Put a plate over the bowl and invert the bowl so the mofongo drops onto the plate. Repeat with remaining mixture and serve alongside stewed or grilled meat or seafood.