Marranitas o Puerquitas ( Green Plantain Balls Stuffed With Pork Belly)

by Erica Dinho on March 10, 2010

Marranitas or Puerquitas are a popular appetizer from the Pacific zone of Colombia. Just because we call them appetizers, doesn’t mean you can only serve them as a snack or before a meal. As a matter of fact, if you eat six of these marranitas, you are not going to have any room for dinner :)

Marranitas literally traslate as “little pig girls” and are fried green plantains stuffed with chopped chicharrones. I know, I know, this is not exactly diet food, but they are absolutely delicious. We Colombians, don’t think about diet when we are eating our Colombian fritters ;-) Buen provecho!



(12 marranitas)

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 green plantains, peeled and cut into 12 chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup chicharrones, finely chopped
  • Salt


Fill a large skillet with vegetable oil and heat the oil over medium-high heat to 365F.

Place the crushed garlic in salted water and set aside.

Carefully add the plantain chunks to the heated oil and fry them for 4 minutes on each side. Remove the plantains from the oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb oil.

Let the fried plantain chunks cool for 2 minutes. Then put the plantain chunks between 2 plastic bags and and flatten, pressing with a cutting board to 1/4″ inches tickeness.

Dip the flattened plantains in the garlic water and place them on your hand and place some chicharrones in the middle and form a ball to enclose the chicharrones. Then smooth them with your hands. Repeat with the remaining plantains.

Carefully place them in the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden on all sides.

Using a slotted spoon remove from the oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and transfer to a serving plate.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tangled Noodle March 10, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Oh, let’s not talk about diets and just enjoy these! Lisa of Lisa Is Cooking posted about jibaritos – sandwiches made with plantains – and now your recipe. I’m convinced that I need to pick up some plantains soon.


2 Miss Meat and Potatoes March 10, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Oh my gosh these look so good!! Plantains are my favorite and pork belly is my husband’s – what a perfect treat!


3 5 Star Foodie March 10, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Plantains balls with pork belly stuffing! Wow! That sounds incredible and a must try for sure!


4 Baking is my Zen March 10, 2010 at 11:38 AM

My mom makes a version of these…oh soooo good!


5 Lyndsey March 10, 2010 at 11:57 AM

They look wonderful! I love eating appetizers for a meal. I have some plantains, but I don’t think they’re green anymore, hehe! I love all checking all your delicious recipes!


6 Kim March 10, 2010 at 12:59 PM

“little pig girls” what a cute name! They look delicious. I bet I could eat at least six of them:D


7 Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes March 10, 2010 at 1:50 PM

These look so yummy, Erica! No wonder why they are so popular!


8 Cynthia March 10, 2010 at 1:59 PM

I have friends coming over this weekend and I am going to make these! Thank you for such an excellent recipe!


9 Erica March 10, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Thank you guys!


10 Blond Duck March 10, 2010 at 6:29 PM

Those look much better than fried mushrooms or jalepenos!


11 Joan Nova March 10, 2010 at 8:02 PM

Ay, que rico! Every once and a while it’s good to eat fried pork, especially when it’s encased in plantains.


12 Joy March 10, 2010 at 10:16 PM

Wow! These look just so wonderful and exciting! I want to try one. Now!


13 Oysterculture March 10, 2010 at 10:38 PM

Oh my goodness, you’ve gone and done it. I could see myself making a batch of these beauties and than not being able to share. They look incredible!


14 Bo March 11, 2010 at 2:15 AM

I bet I could eat way more than six of those!


15 MaryMoh March 11, 2010 at 3:08 AM

Erica, these look so irresistibly good! Beautiful combination of plantains and pork….yum. I would love to try these. Thanks for sharing.


16 grace March 11, 2010 at 6:14 AM

balls stuffed with belly. erica, this rocks. what a unique and flavorful combination of foods!


17 Carla March 11, 2010 at 7:23 AM

What an interesting recipe for green plantains. I can just taste them through the picture. Thanks for the link to the filling so we can give these a try.


18 Joanne March 11, 2010 at 7:34 AM

Fried plantains and pork belly? Can there be a more divine combination? Doubtful.


19 Erica March 11, 2010 at 7:43 AM

Thank you everyone for the comments!


20 norma March 11, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Erica: sooo goood…..they remind me of my platano empanadas con picadillo


21 Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen March 11, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Oh wow, these look like very delectable little bites!


22 Sabrina March 11, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Que cosa mas deliciosa! Toda las comidas de nuestro pais son lo mejor! Gracias por la receta. Saludos!


23 tasteofbeirut March 13, 2010 at 1:09 AM

I have never heard of the garlic in water method! How interesting! I will have to try it; the fritters sound so good I would like some for breakfast even.


24 Erica March 13, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Thank you! I truly appreciate all your comments :)


25 mari June 2, 2010 at 10:28 AM

hello erica,
i tried doing them a couple days ago and had trouble with keeping them together. they kept falling apart on me as i was forming them into balls and as frying them. any help would be appreciated. thanks oh i didnot do them with chicharron i did them with ground pork.


26 Erica June 2, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Mari-Sprinkle warm water….that helps.


27 juan December 21, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Hola Erica, me encanta tu website. Y AMO esta receta. Pero no está incompleta? Después de fritar las tostadas que debo hacer con el chicharron?
Gracias por toda esta maravillosa información!


28 Erica December 21, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Juan -No esta incompleta este es el paso: Dip the flattened plantains in the garlic water and place them on your hand and place some chicharrones in the middle and form a ball to enclose the chicharrones. Then smooth them with your hands. Repeat with the remaining plantains.


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