Pasteles En Hoja (Dominican Republic Version)

"If you are familiar with Caribbean food, then you should know almost everything is made or is accompanied by plantains (unripe bananas). This looks like the Mexican tamale, and is made almost the same way, but with different ingredients. And of course instead of a corn outside layer it is made with plantains. This is a holiday staple. You can find the plantain leaves in any Hispanic market, in the frozen foods section. If you can't find it replace with parchment paper."
photo by JulianaTheCabbage .. photo by JulianaTheCabbage ..
photo by JulianaTheCabbage ..
Ready In:
1hr 10mins




  • Cut the banana leaves into 8x8-inch squares wash, pat dry and reserve.
  • If using pork or chicken:

  • Place a small chicken (about a 2lbs) or pork loin in a crock pot and liberally sprinkle with adobo seasoning until covered. Set on low for 6-8 hours When done, allow it to cool and shred it with your fingers. Now you can use it for the pasteles.
  • If using ground beef:

  • In a bowl combine the meat with the onion powder, oregano, basil, 2 tbsp adobo seasoning.
  • In a pan over medium heat, heat up oil and add garlic, onions and pepper. Sauté until tender. Add 1/2 lb of meat.
  • Cook until no longer pink and drain. Return to heat and 2 tbsp of water and tomato paste. Cook until all liquid has evaporated. Reserve.
  • If using cooked pork or chicken:

  • Heat up oil over medium heat and add garlic, onions and pepper until tender; add 1/2 lb meat. Season with oregano, bay, onion powder, black pepper and salt if needed. Stir until combined. Add 2 tbsp water and tomato paste, heat through, for about 2 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Reserve.
  • Peel the plantains, niame and malanga. Grate the raw niame, malanga and plantain and mix with 1 tsp of adobo seasoning and 1 tspn salt. Add the broth either store-bought kind or the broth made if you slow-cooked the chicken. It will look like a doughy mass. Don't make it too wet.
  • For assembly:

  • Put 2 tbsp of the plantain mixture on the center of a banana tree leaf, on top put 1 tspn of meat, and top that with 2 more tbsp of the plantain mixture. Wrap the leaf around it to form a rectangle; about 5-7" in length and 3-4" in width. Wrap another layer of parchment paper over each one. Tie string once around and once the other way to resemble a present, and tie a knot in the middle. At this point you can freeze them by wrapping a third layer of foil over each one and store for up to a month, just remove foil before cooking.
  • When ready to make, put half a gallon of water in a very large pot and boil them for 20 minutes. Remove the banana leaf before eating.
  • We usually eat them with Tabasco sauce and/or ketchup. Enjoy!

Questions & Replies

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  1. Rainbow - Chef 5368
    A lot of work! But, oh, soooo good!
  2. Nice and Easy 84
    I can't give it stars yet because I haven't been able to try making this yet, but it sounds exactly to a tee like the ones that I had a few years ago, only during the week they lasted in the house! I hope I can get to trying the recipe soon. Thanks for posting!
    very goooooooood


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