Dominican Breakfast Mangú with Salami

mangú with SalamiThis mashed green plantain breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) goes by the unique name of Mangú. One story goes that a visiting American Marine once tried the dish and announced, “Man! Good!” leading to it to forever be called such with a local accent. Another, perhaps more likely theory, states that the original name might have been something like mangusi, referring to any common root vegetable that can be boiled and mashed. Either way, the inception of the dish was undoubtedly brought over with African slaves who already had a cuisine culture wrapped around many boiled and mashed starches, including the plantain.

Another interesting fact I found about this Dominican dish, apparently mangú has been considered a poor man’s breakfast. So much so that there is a common phrase around the nation, “El platano embrutece.” The implication is that children who grow up eating mashed plantain breakfast will be intellectually inferior to children who eat more common Westernized cereals; particularly corn flakes. Although any truth behind it may actually lie in the fact that the families who can afford to send their children to private education, most often of higher learning, are also the families who are more likely to serve their children such cereals. In fact, the nutrional content of a mangú breakfast is not only higher and more filling for better focus throughout the morning, it is also far less inundated with processed sugars.

Dominican Breakfast Mangú with Salami

The gist of this meal is pretty basic, starting with boiled and mashed plantains. The tradition is to use green plantains that have been boiled for as long as 40 minutes, but you can also use yellow plantains, which require a shorter boil time. I’d say it was probably put together with the green plantain flavor in mind, though, as the bit of acid brought through the sauteed red onions really plays nicely with the tangy flavor of green plantain. I’ve seen recipes that call for lime juice, but I prefer apple cider. Feel free to spruce it up as desired, or according to what you have on hand. This may also include adding butter to your mashed plantains.

As for the finishing touch, tossing on a few fried salami pieces is common, but again, bacon can be substituted quite nicely. Some people add queso frito (fried cheese,) and a side of avocado or an egg work perfectly along-side this dish. In fact, the combination of mangú, fried eggs, sausage, and salami is known as Los Tres Golpes, on local menus.

 Mangú – Dominican Plantain Breakfast (or Lunch, or Dinner)

By: Semiserious Chefs
Serves: 3-4


  • 2 green plantains; pealed
  • salted water for boiling; 1/4 cup reserved
  • one red onion; halved and sliced
  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  • sides as desired
    • sliced sauteed salami
    • bacon
    • fried eggs
    • sliced avocado


  1. Cut each plantain into sections and boil for 20-30 minutes over medium heat, with plenty of salted water.
  2. While your plantains are boiling slice the red onion and toss in a bowl with a little bit of salt and the vinegar. Let this marinade for 20 minutes.
  3. To saute the onions add them and the liquid to a cold pan with generous olive oil. Bring up the heat to medium high and saute until the onions are just slightly soft and not mushy. Set the onions and their sauce aside.
  4. Using some of the water from boiling (~1/4 cup) and some of the sauce from the onions, as needed, plus butter as desired, mash the plantains until smooth.
  5. Serve each plate with mashed plantains topped with onion slices. Salt and pepper as needed. Add desired sides and enjoy!

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *