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How to Fry a Plantain

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Plantains

Plantains

 

How to Fry a Plantain

 

Plantains are common throughout Africa as well as in many areas with a strong African influence, such as the Caribbean and South America. Typically they are sliced and fried to a golden brown, but they can also be cut into cubes or smashed before frying. The plantain is similar to a banana, but needs to be cooked prior to eating. It also has a much tougher skin that needs to be cut before peeling. You can find a variety of plantain recipes, but the plantain is usually served salted and sometimes with a hint of garlic which gives it a savory, sweet and exotic taste. Serve as a snack, appetizer, or side-dish for something delicious and unique.

   

How to Choose Your Plantain

Plantains can be found either green or ripe in most supermarkets. While they may look a lot like a banana, it is important to realize that they have a lot more starch and will need to be fried before eating. Also, like most fruit, the plantain gets much sweeter as it ripens. A green or yellow plantain is usually not used, in fact, most people wait until it takes on a very dark or black color before slicing and frying. When the plantain starts to get black it is at its sweetest and most flavorful point.

 

Green Plantain

Green Plantain

 

 

Ripe Plantains

Ripe Plantains

 

OK, they may not look too appetizing like this, but these plantains are at the perfect point of ripeness. This is just how they should look when you get ready to cook them.

  

 

Peeling a Plantain

Peeling a Plantain

        

The plantain looks so much like a banana, it’s easy to assume that you can simply peel it like you would a banana. However, the plantain has a much tougher peel and it doesn’t come away from the flesh quite as easily. The best way to peel a plantain is to cut off both ends, then make a slit down the side with a small sharp knife. Once you have done this, you can gently peel the skin away from the fruit.

  

Sliced Plantains

Sliced Plantains

 

 The plantain needs to be sliced about 1/4″ thick for frying. The most common way is to slice it into rounds or on the diagonal. Some people slice them into long thin elongated ovals, by I prefer the more traditional method of small diagonally sliced pieces. This gives the plantain plenty of surface area for crisping up during frying as well as a hint of salt or spice on each piece, they are also much easier to handle than the long pieces and make a perfect bite-sized treat.

Plantains are especially good served with omlettes and make a great breakfast treat.

  

Frying Plantains

Frying Plantains

     
In a heavy skillet add about 1/4″ oil and heat until plantains just begin to sizzle when you place them in the pan. Brown on both sides until golden, turning only once. Be sure to move the pieces around in the skillet because they won’t brown evenly; when nicely browned transfer to a paper lined platter to drain. Immediately sprinkly with kosher salt. You can also add a very light sprinkle of garlic powder, if desired. Either way, they are delicious! Some people like to slightly brown the plantains and remove them before they are completely golden. They are then smashed lightly with a rolling pin, pan or other object, then returned to the frying pan to brown on both sides.



Plantains

Plantains

 
 
Plantains have a hint of banana flavor and are slightly salty and sweet. They make a delicious accompaniament to almost any meal, or can be served as a snack anytime.

Plantains for Breakfast

Plantains for Breakfast

 

            

  
How to Fry a Plantain, 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
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