Looking for a tasty and quick side, appetizer or snack? Try fried plantains! In Panama we eat these regularly whether ripe or green they are delicious and easy. In Panama we call them “patacones” other countries call them “tostones.” Whatever you’d like to call them they’re an easy and tasty addition to any meal.
To the untrained eye, plantains can be mistaken for bananas, however they must be cooked; they cannot be eaten raw. Green plantains can be a bit difficult to peel while the riper ones are a cinch. Plantains are used in a variety of dishes to include desserts. Ripe plantains are very sweet and can me cooked in a variety of ways. In this recipe I’ll show you how to peel and cook a green plantain.
- 1 green plantain
- Oil for frying
- Pepper (optional)
Fill a frying pan with enough oil to cover the plantains about halfway.
Using a sharp knife, slice off the ends then slit the skin from tip to tip, making 2-3 slits depending on the girth of your plantain.
Peel the skin sideways removing all of the skin from the plantain. Cut the plantain in 1-1.5” pieces.
Once the oil has reached the right temperature about 325 degrees, carefully add the plantains and fry until golden yellow in color, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side.
Once slightly golden on each side remove the plantains and place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the oil.
Using the back of a wooden spatula or the bottom of a wide coffee mug (my preference), or an actual “tostonera” flatten each 1-1½” piece and sprinkle with salt.
Bring the oil back to 325 degrees and carefully place the flattened plantains back in the oil to finish cooking for another 2-4 minutes. Remove and place on a paper towel to soak the excess oil and serve immediately.
Enjoy with salt and pepper, garlic mojo, or good ole’ ketchup!