The alcapurrias are fritters that consist of a dough made with yautías (taro root), green plantains or green bananas then filled with a well-seasoned ground beef meat mixture known as “picadillo.” The filling can also consist of stewed land crabs. The annatto oil adds color and flavor to the dough. Once the alcapurrias are assembled, they are then fried in a skillet. These fritters are served as appetizers or finger foods.
I, however, prepare a much healthier version of the alcapurrias. I use ground turkey and bake the alcapurrias wrapped in banana leaves. When I serve the alcapurrias to my guests and inform them that they are prepared with ground turkey and baked, they are shocked because they were not able to tell the difference!
Let’s Prepare the Meat Mixture Known as Picadillo!
Click on the link to prepare the Meat Filling (Picadillo) with step by step visual instructions.
Let’s Cut and Peel the Root Vegetables and Starchy Fruit for the Dough!
The produce pictured are listed in the following order from left to right: green bananas, taro roots (yautías) and green plantains.
I prepare the dough using only taro roots (yautías) and green plantains. Some individuals use all three varieties of produce while others just prefer preparing the dough with green bananas and taro roots (yautías). Therefore, It is an individual preference.
The taro root (Yautía) is a tuberous, starchy tropical root vegetable with brown and shaggy skin. The green plantains are member of the banana family but are longer, thicker and much starchier than the familiar banana.
Cut off both ends for green plantains or green bananas. Make a slit lengthwise from top to bottom with a knife. Insert a spoon or flatware knife in the slit between the flesh and skin, pressing skin backwards to peel the plantain or banana lengthwise from top to bottom. With your hands, remove the peel and continue this process until the skin is completely removed.
Cut both ends of the taro root (yautía) and cut the taro root (yautía) in half (across). Peel the skin with a knife.
Rinse the taro root (yautías) and green plantains. Place in a bowl.
Time to Grate the Root Vegetables and Starchy Fruit!
Grate the root vegetables and starchy fruit on the super-fine blade side of a box grater. You can also use a food processor or a specialty machine for grating.
Since I make a small batch of alcapurrias for my family, I grate the root vegetables and starchy fruits manually. Furthermore, I wear a cut resistant glove when grating my root vegetables. See YouTube Video below for an illustration using the cut resistant glove.
Now We are Ready to Prepare the Dough!
Place grated dough in a bowl and stir until well blended. Add salt and annatto oil.
Click on the link to learn How to Prepare Annatto Oil.
Stir dough with a spoon until the color of dough is uniform.
Let’s Start Asembling the Alcapurrias!
Cut banana leaves into 8 x 6 inches. Wipe both sides of leaf with a clean kitchen cloth. Spread annatto oil in center of leaf.
Place dough on top of leaf and make a well in the center.
Add sufficient meat mixture in the center of dough lengthwise.
With a stainless steel spoon, fold the edges of dough towards the center, covering meat filling.
The meat filling is completely covered with dough.
Let’s Start Shaping the Alcapurrias!
With both hands holding the leaf, move the alcapurria from side to side for a more round cylinder shape. The more you roll the alcapurria from side to side the longer they become. Continue to roll the alcapurrias until you obtain the length you desire.
The alcapurrias traditionally have a cylinder shape, measuring approximately 4½-inch long and 2-inch wide. However, many individuals shape the alcapurrias into a round ball. You can experiment and shape them as you prefer.
I inadvertently forgot this step while filming the YouTube video for alcapurrias. This is why I started my own Production Company in August, 2018.
This is an example of a much smaller size of alcapurria. The dough was rolled from side to side just a few times.
Once the alcapurria is formed, brush annatto oil lightly on top of each alcapurria. Fold the banana leaf lengthwise to cover the alcapurria. Repeat this process for the remaining alcapurrias.
It’s Time to Bake the Alcapurrias!
Preheat oven 350°F. Place wrapped alcapurrias on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure parchment paper can be placed in oven. Bake for 30 mintues.
After 30 minutes of baking, partially unwrap each one, exposing the top part of the alcapurrias. Bake for an additional 5 minutes to brown on top if you so desire.
Serve warm and enjoy a healthier version of alcapurrias without sacrificing the flavor or texture.
Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Bake Alcapurrias!
Recipe and Nutritional Facts!
Nutritional Information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.Print
Enjoy a healthier version of our traditional alcapurrias without sacrificing the flavor or texture when baked!
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons annatto oil
- ½ teaspoon salt (low sodium) or to taste
- 2 tablespoons sofrito
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 6 pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
- ½ teaspoon capers, drained
- 2 ounces lean ham, diced
- 2 green plantains, peeled
- 1 pound taro root (yautías), peeled
- 2 teaspoons salt (low sodium) or to taste
- 2 tablespoons annatto oil
12 plantain leaves, cut into 8 x 6 inches
1/2 cup annatto oil – to spread on leaf and brush on top of dough. Save leftover annatto oil in a container with lid for other recipes. Store for 4 to 5 days.
- See food blogging post for preparing the meat filling.
- Grate the taro root and green plantain using a box grater.
- Place dough into a bowl and add salt and annatto oil.
- Stir dough until color of dough is uniform.
- Spread ½ teaspoon of annatto oil on a plantain leaf.
- Place ¼ cup of dough on top of plantain leaf.
- Make a well in center of dough, place 1 heaping tablespoonful of meat mixture in the center of dough.
- Cover meat filling completely with dough.
- Shape dough to measure approximately 4½ inches long and 2 inches wide by rolling dough side to side on leaf.
- Brush a small amount of annatto oil on top of each alcapurrias.
- Wrap each alcapurrias in the plantain leaf, folding both sides lengthwise.
- Place wrapped alcapurrias on a baking sheet. Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 350°F.
- Partially unwrap each one, exposing the top part of the alcapurrias. Bake for an additional 5 minutes to brown on top if you so desire.
If you prefer to use green bananas for the dough, you will need 5 green bananas.
- Category: Appetizers and Snacks
- Cuisine: Puerto Rican