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How to Fry a Plantain

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How to Fry a Plantain




How to Fry a Plantain




Plantains (platanos) 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 before eating. It also has a much tougher skin which is usually cut to make peeling easier. You can find a variety of plantain recipes, but the plantain is usually served fried and salted, sometimes with a hint of garlic which gives it a savory, sweet and exotic taste. Serve fried plantains as a snack, appetizer, or as a side-dish with meat.



Learn How to Fry a Plantain:



How to Pick Good Plantains (Platanos)


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. Don’t wait until the plantain is completely black, then it is overripe.




These plantains need to ripen a little more.


Sweet Plantains

These plantains are perfect; ready to slice and fry.


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


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.



Slice Plantains


The plantain needs to be sliced about 1/4-inch 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. 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 longer pieces, and they make a perfect bite-sized treat.




How to Fry a Plantain



Fry Plantains



In a heavy skillet add about 1/4″ of oil and heat until the plantains just begin to sizzle when you place them in the pan. Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning only once. Be sure to move the pieces around in the skillet so they brown evenly. When they’re nicely browned transfer to a paper lined platter to drain. Immediately sprinkle 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, and returned to the frying pan to finish browning on both sides.







How to Fry a Plantain, 5.0 out of 5 based on 15 ratings
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