Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Plantains! Fry em up Baby! Like potato chips

Here's an oddity... Not sure why, but "Plantains" is my word.  I show up on search engines more for my plantain post than any other... This post originally was written on June 30th, and since then, 942 people have found it largely via searches.  So, it deserves a place among my Best of 2010 posts...

Here's an oldie but a goodie around here.

Plantains... They look like bananas... They cook like sweet potatoes.

Lots of BBQ's being planned these days, and more than one is going to have a tropical theme.  These come together fast (only one ingredient plus frying oil), have an unexpected unique taste, and best of all, with a little za za zing added will satisfy the pickiest of eaters...


The plantain is the one on the left.

But they also look like this...

Around these parts, the green ones are called.... Green Plantains.  The yellow ones are called...





Nope, wrong... The yellow ones are called ripe plantains.  Much as you might think I want to cook with ripe plantains, for this recipe, we are going to use green ones.  They are very stiff, hard.  They will feel like a potato (and cook like one).  If you should happen to grab a ripe plantain, they are terrific in a little butter with sugar (caramelized).

But let's say you have a green one...

Just peal (not as easy as it sounds).  Slice off the two ends, cut into the peal and cut a slit the length of the fruit.  And work around till all the peal is released.  MUCH stiffer than a banana, but it will come off.

Next, slice into chips (you can also slice into French fry shapes).  Slice them fairly thin, about 1/4 inch thick.

Heat up some Canola Oil over medium heat, and dump the chips in...

It takes about 5 minutes for them to get fully cooked.  You don not want to crowd them, so I fry up just just the chips that come from one plantain at a time.  You can see them just start to turn brown around the edges.

Remove with a slotted spoon, dry them with a paper towel.  They will have a crispness, like a thick cut potato chip.  But the center will be soft and chewy like a baked potato.  A terrific contrast.

I do a quick egg wash with a beaten egg so the salt mixture will stick...

The lime zest Salt mixture is the key to set your chips apart.  It has a tropical zing and adds a wonderful look to the final dish...

Easy mix... Equal parts sea salt and zest from a lime.

Easy Peasy... but will make your party tropical themed party memorable.  These go great with burgers!


  1. hey you wrote a whole post without digressing - or maybe you did and I missed it - these are best when you fry them a little once then smash them and fry them again - tostones are a classic.

  2. I've had plantains exactly once in my life at Bongo's in Orlando. They came with most of the entrees on the menu - I think they were pan fried in strips, but I actually can't recall if I liked them or not! Happy New Year. Hope you're doing well.

  3. I had plantains once and loved them. Don't know why I don't make them more. My big search engine explosion post was a pasta salad.

  4. Seeing as how plantains are one of my most favorite things EVER. I would be pretty pleased if I were you to have my blog associated with them. Love this post!

  5. I've never cooked plantain before but this has made me want to try it.

  6. I need to experiment with plantains, especially for the summer when I am cooking a lot of jerk. I don't have a dislike for them, I just haven't spent much time making them.