This tigrillo recipe was written by John Gregory-Smith, inspired by his recent trip to Ecuador…

"A coastal breakfast with bite, tigrillo is a high-energy food that’s made with green plantains. These are less ripe than the yellow ones and better for a savoury meal. To make sure that they are really soft and tender, I soak the raw plantains in cold water for an hour before cooking."

*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards


  • 2 large green plantains, peeled and cut into 6cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon, finely sliced
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp paprika, plus a little extra to garnish
  • 80g mozzarella, finely chopped
  • a handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 6 eggs


  • STEP 1

    Put the plantain pieces into a bowl of cold water to soak for one hour. Drain well. Put the plantain pieces into a pan of boiling water. Boil over a medium heat for 30-35 minutes or until soft. Drain well and tip into a mixing bowl. Add the peanut butter, milk, 1/2 of the butter, season well and mash together until smooth.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the bacon and fry for 4-5 minutes or until just crisping, then scatter the spring onions into the pan and continue to fry for 1-2 minutes or until wilted. Remove from the heat, add the paprika and mix well.

  • STEP 3

    Tip the bacon and spring onions into the plantain mash, along with the cheese and 3/4 of the coriander. Mix everything together really well and season.

  • STEP 4

    Reheat the bacon pan over a high heat. Add the remaining butter and transfer the tigrillo to the pan and flatten it out with a spoon. Reduce the heat to medium and break up and turn it regularly, until crisp. It will crumble and look a little like a hash, with crunchy pieces.

  • STEP 5

    Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat with the remaining oil and cook the eggs to your liking.

  • STEP 6

    To serve, divide the tigrillo between six plates. Top each with an egg. Scatter over the remaining coriander leaves and a pinch more of paprika. Serve immediately.


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