vegan puerto rican cuisine

Guineítos en Escabeche/Puerto Rican Green Bananas

Guineítos en Escabeche/Puerto Rican Green Bananas

Do you remember going to family parties and always seeing the one appetizer you never ate? Well, those were “guineítos en escabeche” for me haha. They are briny green bananas (yes, unripened bananas), and at the tender age of 5, my taste buds could not handle it. As I grew up, however, I came to absolutely love that dish. It is a simple dish, that can be made as an appetizer or as accompaniment for any dish. In Puerto Rico, it is usually served at holiday parties (i.e. Thanksgiving to Three Kings Day), and I am there for all of that. Whenever I make and eat this dish it makes me so happy. It brings back memories of good times on the island. In other Latin American countries, “escabeche” means different things. But in Puerto Rico, it means this fantastic briny marinade.

Guineitos en escabedhe

The main ingredient for this recipe is green bananas. Yes, unripened, green bananas. A lot of people do not use green bananas and are not familiar with it as an ingredient. Here in Austin it is a bit hard to come by, but the Latin and Asian supermarkets sometimes carry it. To pick out the perfect green bananas for this recipe, choose bananas that do not have even a bit of yellow. Also, make sure that the bananas are hard. If you squeeze them and they have a squishy give, they are already too ripe.

Prepare the Escabeche

First, peel the bananas and fill up a large casserole with water and some salt. Put the bananas in the water and boil for about 20 minutes, or until the bananas are soft enough for you to insert a fork, but not so soft that the bananas crumbles. Check after 15 minutes for this, just in case. While the bananas are boiling, combine the sliced onions, olive oil, vinegar, bay leaves, black pepper corns, garlic, salad olives, “adobo”, and salt, in a small medium saucepan to make the “escabeche”. Leave it at a medium/low heat so that the mixture warms up but does not boil, for about 10- 15 minutes. You want it to be warm and the onions softened a bit. If you use the full cup of white vinegar, the taste will be tangier and brinier. I like the tangy flavor, but if you are not sure, start with a ½ cup of vinegar and add more after you taste it, if you like.

Ingredients

When the bananas are done boiling, carefully drain them and cut them up into ½ inch pieces. Place them in a glass bowl and pour the warmed-up sauce over them. Leave them in the fridge preferably overnight. The more time you leave them marinating, the better it will taste.

Serve at room temperature as an appetizer in your holiday parties, or as an accompaniment with any of the amazing holiday recipes that are coming!

Guineitos en escabeche

Buen provecho!

Guineítos en escabeche/Puerto Rican Green Bananas

Ingredients

  • 7-8 green bananas
  • 2 onions, halved and sliced
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp whole black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp salad olives My favorite is Goya
  • 1 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tsp or to taste salt
  • 1 tsp or to taste adobo My favorite is Goya

Instructions

  • Peel the bananas and fill up a large casserole with water and some salt.
  • Put the bananas in the water and boil for about 20 minutes, or until the bananas are soft enough for you to insert a fork, but not so soft that the bananas fall apart. Check after 15 minutes for this, just in case.
  • While the bananas are boiling, combine the sliced onions, olive oil, vinegar, bay leaves, black pepper corns, garlic, salad olives, and “adobo” or salt, in a small medium saucepan.
  • Leave them at a medium/low heat so that the mixture warms up but does not boil, for about 10- 15 minutes. You want it to be warm and the onions softened a bit.
  • If you use the full cup of white vinegar, the taste will be tangier and brinier. I like the tangy flavor, but if you are not sure, start with a ½ cup of vinegar and add more after you taste it, if you like.
  • When the bananas are done boiling, carefully drain them and cut them up into ½ inch pieces.
  • Place them in a glass bowl and pour the warmed-up "escabeche" over them.
  • Leave them in the fridge preferably overnight. The more time you leave them marinating, the better it will taste.
  • Serve at room temperature as an appetizer or accompaniment


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