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Mar 13, 2008 01:37 PM

Eating uncooked plantain

I have a ripe, yellow plantain. Can I eat this like I could a banana? Everything I have read online indicates that plantains must be cooked before consumption.

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  1. Plantains are ripe when they are black. That one may still be hard. One clue - an unripe one is hard to peel. Peeling a ripe is easier, though rarely as easy a regular banana.

    I've never heard of it being harmful to eat it raw, but then eating potatoes raw isn't harmful either. Whether you'd want to is another question.


    3 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      I was going to say the same thing as paulj - I think eating an uncooked plantain would be akin to eating a raw potato. It probably won't hurt you, but I don't think it will be pleasant. Or sweet like a banana - plantains are quite different starch- and sugar-content wise than bananas.

      1. re: jnstarla

        They are often served as part of the Vietnamese Table Salad, to be rolled up with assorted herbs, lettuce, cuc's, fine rice noodles and protein.
        They are not unpleasant at all (and I am talking about yellow ones not the black or green ones).
        They are not crunchy and have a slight tartness to them.
        The really black ones can get quite soft and sweet with out cooking as well.

      2. re: paulj

        The green part of a raw potatoe is harmful, so if you get a potatoe with some green cut off the green and discard it.

      3. Maybe it's too much hassle to heat up a pan of oil to fry just one, so I was thinking if it's a ripe one, try cooking it with a George Foreman Grill or Pannini press, or even a waffle iron (non-stick).

        1 Reply
        1. re: HSBSteveM

          Or if you're impatient, pop it in the microwave..similar to a baked potato.

        2. I wouldn't try it. Yukky. Like an unripe persimmon.

          Yes, I've microwaved them with success, although pan fried is much better.

          1. as has been said, if it's yellow, it's not ripe.

            Once it is ripe, make a slit down one side. Coat it with olive oil, and then put it in the over at 350 for about 30 minutes (or until nice and done). Serve it with sour cream -- quite tasty.

            2 Replies
            1. re: karmalaw

              Unripe plantains can be used, but they are starchier, and need more cooking. One approach is to try slices, smash them, and fry them again. Another is to cook it in soup, much as you would potatoes.


              1. re: paulj

                There is a great Cuban stew called Quimbombo which has pork, green plantains, and okra.. yum!

            2. I've eaten a very ripe plantain sliced over a pancake like a banana. It was starchy but tasty. I suffered no ill effects.