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Caribbean Fried Plantain recipe?

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  • Alice Sep 15, 2005 08:55 PM
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Just had West Indian/Caribbean food and now I want an unlimited supply of those slightly sweet fried plantains. So first, how do I choose them (soft vs. hard, etc)? Then, how do I prepare them? Are they naturally slightly sweet, or does one have to sweeten them?

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  1. I had that same experience, but with the unsweet kind, called tostones...I went home and fried some and they were perfect. And I just about never fry anything, so this must be the easiest thing in the world.

    so, here's the basics.
    Unripe green plantains are more like potato, starchy.
    Yellow plaintains are soft and ripe - those are the sweet ones.
    Both are delicious.
    You just peel them and slice them up (a little over 1/2 ") and fry in hot vegetable oil. Drain on paper towels and eat hot.

    Extra note on the green ones:
    Lots of people give them a little smash and a second round in the fryer.
    Salt, and eat (or eat with a garlic sauce.)

    Plantanos are 8 for $1 where I live, so you could have an unlimited supply . . .

    2 Replies
    1. re: pitu

      The smashing and second round in the fryer are definitely the Dominican way of preparation with which I'm familiar - yummm.

      1. re: MMRuth

        i'm cuban and we do it that way too.

    2. I've only ever bought the blackened plantains (never the unripe green ones). If you want something really easy, look for some that already have completely black skin, preferably even bursting a little at the seams. They'll smell quite sweet, but don't eat them! They'll taste like unripe bananas.

      I slit each lengthwise and mash lightly. Each piece should still hold its shape. Sautee over medium heat in some melted butter, and sprinkle with brown or raw sugar. Flip, and do the same to the other side. The sugar will caramelize and make it remniscent of bananas foster. I don't know how close this will be to what you want, but it's what my friend learned to do in Costa Rica, and also what the store owner told me to do when I bought them. Good luck!

      1. Get very black plaintains. There really shouldn't be any yellow or green left.

        To cook them, I split them down the middle and then cut them into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Then I heat about half an inch of olive oil until it almost smokes (very hot) then put in the plaintains, turning when golden brown. They shouldn't need any sugar if you get them ripe enough.

        You can also roast them in the broiler, brushing a little oil and honey on the outside.

        1 Reply
        1. re: butterfly

          I concur with this recipe. If you can't find black plantains, just buy yellow, or even green, and keep them in a cool dry place (such as where you keep potatoes) until they're black. I mean black enough that if they were bananas you'd probably throw them away. Slice, fry and enjoy.
          Frying green plantains use a totally different method.

        2. Really black, as posted in other replies.

          Halve lengthwise, cut into 3" chunks and deep-fry 350 about 2-3 minutes (you'll have to test a chunk to set "done" to your liking) - drain well, top w sour cream (Salvadorean style crema if you can get it) and serve. You really can't go far wrong here.