A Complete Guide to Alcapurrias

One of the tastiest appetizer staples of Puerto Rican cuisine is the alcapurria. These wonderful fried, protein-filled fritters are scrumptious and are a great way to start any meal.

In Puerto Rico, alcapurrias are often sold on corners by street vendors, and they are a perfect, filling, mess-free treat to enjoy while you sit back and take in the sun and sand on any of the island’s beautiful beaches.

Many Puerto Ricans will be happy to tell anyone interested about their family’s recipe for alcapurrias. Although there are some qualities that are true of all alcapurrias, the ingredients contained within can vary.

Read on to learn about this tasty Puerto Rican snack food, and get inspired to try your hand at making your own in your home.

How to Make Alcapurrias

Although the ingredients used may vary from chef to chef, there are some aspects of alcapurrias that are true of all of them, and which make an alcapurria an alcapurria.

Alcapurria Exterior

hands holding cook bananas - regional tropical fruits in a try

The outside shell of an alcapurria is made fromĀ a mixture of plantains or unripe bananas mixed with a mashed root vegetable.

The root vegetable is usually yuca or taro root. The first step is to peel and mash and grate the items you have chosen and combine them into a dough consistency. You may want to use a food processor to help with this step.

Next, add oil or shortening and spices such as adobo seasoning and salt, and sazon con achiote for coloring and more flavor.

Although you can move onto the next step immediately if you would like, experienced Puerto Rican cooks would advise that you let this mixture sit overnight for best taste and results.

Aclapurria Interior

The most common filling for alcapurrias is beef, but some people use crab, chicken, or another protein. Although the exterior recipe is fairly universal, fillings can vary immensely from cook to cook.

Usually, alcapurrias include olives and pimentos and onions, but not always. Some chefs add more spices here, green peas or other vegetables.

Whatever you choose to add, cook the filling on the stove in a frying pan before combining the filling with the outer shell.

Putting It All Together

Once you have completed both parts of this tasty hand-held treat, it’s time to put it all together.

Flatten the dough for the exterior into a patty shape. It should be thick and round like an uncooked hamburger. Use your hands to flatten it and to make it into this shape.

Next, put the filling in the middle like you would fill a taco. Wrap the dough around it and seal it completely on all sides and ends. The filling should be fully enclosed like in an empanada or calzone.

Once you have the alcapurrias assembled, drop them into a fryer and deep fry them to a crisp, golden brown. After frying, let them rest on a paper towel for a few minutes to shed some of the extra oil.

Enjoy Your Alcapurrias

Once they cool a little, it’s time to eat! This is hand-held finger food, so wrap it in a paper towel or napkin and dig in. Each bite should be filled with the outer dough shell and a good helping of the filling.

Once you eat an alcapurria once, you will continue to crave them from now on and will seek them out wherever they are available for sale. Enjoy.

If you want to learn more about Puerto Rican cuisine, check out the Puerto Rican Foods section of our site. Or to shop for some of these specialties, visit our online store.

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