Puréed green plantain stew with tuna. Served with rice and plantain chips.
Or in spanish this is called, sango de verde con atún.
Sango is a dish from Ecuador. It’s made from green plantains that are grated and then boiled with water to make a thick stew. Traditionally, you can add shrimp, chicken, beef, tuna, or pork. Seafood is common of the ecuadorian coast and how I’ve always made it. Sango can be served straight from the soup pot or baked (in which case it’s then called cazuela). It is a great gluten-free option so I’ve revived this old dish in my kitchen. I bet it would also make a great, hearty vegan stew on it’s own or by adding something like potatoes and root vegetables. And while I don’t eat soy anymore (phytoestrogens), I do miss my tofu and can imagine it tasting phenomenal in this dish.
There are many different variations, but here’s how I was taught:
Sango de verde
3-4 large green plantains (not yellow/black as those are sweet maduros)
Water – I really don’t measure but I’d guess about 4-5 cups.
Half a green bell pepper
Half an onion
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp red chili flakes
2 tbsp cumin
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (optional)
Protein of your choosing
Chifles or maiz tostado (can be bought in Latin groceries)
Grate the plantains and set aside. Dice the pepper and onions and sauté in olive oil. Dice or smash the garlic and add in next. Once you’ve got those great smells going, add in the grated plaintains. I like to stir them around a bit, incorporating the oil and veg. Then I’ll add the water. Start out with 3-4 cups and let it boil for a bit, stirring often or the bottom will burn. When you first add the water it will seem like a lot but it thickens quickly. You will then add in more water as needed in 1/2 cup increments. It’s a stew so that’s the consistency you’re going for. Some people like it thicker, or thinner, so add water as you choose.
Next, add in all the spices. I really don’t cook with precise measurements but I gave it my best guess here. Taste and adjust as you choose.
Many recipes call for peanuts – a common ingredient in ecuadorian cooking. If you choose to add this, add in the peanut butter at this point and stir well until it’s well incorporated. Some people like to microwave it first with a little water and add it in liquified. You can do that, but this way works fine too and saves the extra dirty dish!
Lastly, you’ll add in your protein if you are choosing to do so. Allow it to simmer long enough to cook it through. My favorites are shrimp and tuna, respectively.
Serve piping hot over rice. Serve with lime wedges. This is a must. A major flavor component to this dish is the fresh lime you squeeze on this. You can also serve with chifles (plantain chips) or maiz tostado (crunchy corn kernels). I think that texture is important because everything else in this dish is soft so a little crunch goes a long way.
You can also serve with aji criollo, a fresh spicy salsa. I’ll post that recipe another day but it’s basically hot pepper of your choosing, onion, garlic, cilantro, tomatoes. All diced up in lime juice and salt and pepper. The pepper you choose will determine how spicy or mild it is. It’s my favorite and I can eat it on its own!