vegan puerto rican cuisine

Family Time: Alcapurrias Veganas

Family Time: Alcapurrias Veganas

Alcapurrias! I have to say this is one of my favorite recipes ever. Not only is it super yummy, but it is very close to my heart. In Puerto Rico, family and traditions are definitely two of the cornerstones of our culture. Food is probably the other one. And for me, this recipe encompasses all of those. Not so long ago, when my parents and I lived in my hometown of Guayama, Puerto Rico, we would make this as a family. My grandmother, mother, father, aunt, grandfather, and I, all pitched in.

We would put music on and grate the “yautĂ­a”, made the “guiso” for the filling, and the white rice as a side. I loved that we were all together, cooking. It made such an impression on me that I can’t help but get really homesick when I make it. This “alcapurria” recipe in particular is not the same as the ones you will find around the island in the street-side “chinchorros”. It’s my paternal grandmother’s recipe, which she taught to my mom and then to me.

If you have never made anything like this, I suggest you read the recipe carefully so you can familiarize yourself with the steps. It’s a long process, but I suggest you bring in family and/or friends and make it a day! Also, if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. I really hope you make it and love it as much as I do. 🙂

The recipe is broken out into several parts: a) making the “masa” or dough, b) making the filling, c) putting the actual alcapurria together, and d) frying it.

To make the masa:

For the masa, I only use purple yautĂ­a. It’s also called malanga in other countries, and if you live in the US, that’s what it will probably be called at the grocery store. I usually get it at a latin grocery store here in Austin called Fiesta. But make sure it’s purple on the inside, and not white. You can discreetly chuck off a small piece in the grocery store to make sure.

Yautia

Peel the yautĂ­as with a regular potato peeler, and grate them on the box grater (the part with the small, spiky holes) over a large bowl. Mix the grated yautĂ­a with the “sazĂłn” or seasoning, and salt until evenly blended. Set aside for later. “SazĂłn” is used often in Puerto Rican dishes such as “guisos” or stews. See my blog entry on “sazĂłn” and homemade recipe here.

 Yautias

Masa yautia

To make the filling:

This filling is traditionally meat, however I use faux meat crumbles to make it vegan. My favorite is the Lightlife crumbles, but Gardein is also good. To make it, first, heat the oil in a medium saucepan on medium/high heat. When hot, add sofrito and vegetable bullion, and lower the heat to medium/low. After the sofrito starts getting fragrant, about 30 seconds, add sazón, olives, and sauce. Sautée for about five minutes. Add the faux meat crumbles and salt. Mix until it is completely covered with the sofrito mixture. Add the water and turn the heat up to medium/high, until it starts boiling, then lower back to medium/low and cover for about 10 min. Uncover and lower heat further to low/medium for about five min or until water is mostly dried up. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Take off heat and set aside. For the tomato sauce and olives, my favorites are the Goya ones. You can either make or buy sofrito, click here for my sofrito recipe and store-bought recommendations.

Ingredientes Alcapurrias

Putting together the alcapurria:

Use either a plantain leaf or a small plate, and scoop ÂĽ cup of the “masa” or dough onto the leaf or plate. Carefully flatten it so that it’s a bit thin, but not too thin, creating a circle. Scoop 1 tbsp of the filling onto the middle of the dough circle. Scoop up the sides of the dough circle to cover the filling. You can see a short video I made of this step if you have never done it before, or you’re having trouble visualizing.

Putting together the alcapurria

Formed Alcapurria

Frying!

To fry the alcapurrias, get a medium pot and heat on Medium/High about  2 – 2 1/2 cups of frying oil, or enough to cover half of it. When the oil is very hot, carefully slide each alcapurria in. Depending on the size of your pot, you will need to make at least two batches. After about one minute, turn the heat down to medium, and fry for about seven to ten minutes. Turn the alcapurrias occasionally. Scoop the alcapurrias out and set them on a paper-towel-lined colander.

Alcapurrias

Serve by themselves, as a great fritter, or alongside rice, beans and tostones, as pictured below. Yum! You can see the recipe for rice and beans here, and for tostones here.

Family Time: Alcapurrias Veganas

Servings: 2

Ingredients

"Masa" or Dough

  • 2 purple yautĂ­a/malanga It's called either way, but at the grocery stores in the US, it's probably called malanga
  • 3.5 tsp sazĂłn
  • 1 tsp annatto

Filling

  • 3/4 cup faux meat crumbles My favorites are Lightlife and Gardein
  • 3 tbsp sofrito
  • 2.5 tsp sazĂłn/seasoning
  • 2 tsp salad olives My favorite is Goya
  • 1/2 cube/tsp vegetable bullion optional
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce My favorite is Goya

Frying

  • 2 1/2 cups frying oil Canola or vegetable

Instructions

Masa/Dough

  • Peel the yautĂ­as with a regular potato peeler
  • Grate the yautĂ­as on the box grater (the part with the small, spiky holes) over a large bowl
  • Mix the grated yautĂ­a with the "sazĂłn"/seasoning and salt until evenly blended
  • Set aside for later

Filling

  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on medium/high heat
  • Add the sofrito and bullion, and lower the heat to medium/low
  • After the sofrito starts getting fragrant, about 30 seconds, add sazĂłn, olives, and sauce. SautĂ©e for about five minutes
  • Add the faux meat crumbles and salt. Mix until it is completely covered with the sofrito mixture
  • Add the water and turn the heat up to medium/high, until it starts boiling, then lower back to medium/low and cover for about 10 min
  • Uncover and lower heat further to low/medium for about five min or until water is mostly dried up. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom
  • Take off heat and set aside

Putting Together the Alcapurria

  • Use either a plantain leaf or a small plate, and scoop ÂĽ cup of the “masa” or dough onto the leaf or plate
  • Carefully flatten it so that it’s a bit thin, but not too thin, creating a circle
  • Scoop 1 tbsp of the filling onto the middle of the dough circle
  • Scoop up the sides of the dough circle to cover the filling

Frying

  • Heat the oil in the pot on Medium/High
  • When the oil is very hot, carefully slide each alcapurria into it. Depending on the size of your pot, you will need to make at least two batches
  • After about one minute, turn the heat down to medium, and fry for about seven minutes. Turn the alcapurrias occasionally
  • Scoop the alcapurrias out and set them on a paper-towel-lined colander


Leave a Reply