I love plantains, in all their forms. And I’ve recently learned just how many forms they can take. One of my favorite ways is tostones – a great balance of salty and sweet, which I served along with some tomatillo/serrano pepper chicken. This is my second time making these, and the recipe below is a simplified version of what I did the first time. Similar to a lot of my recipes, I like to check a few different recipes out there to pick up some tips, and then I go for it.
Most helpful tip I found: the plantain color and ripeness dictate what type of recipe you can make with them. For tostones, you want un-ripe green or green/yellow plantains. If you’re making a sweet plantain, you want a very ripe one, like black-ish.
What you’ll need:
- 2 un-ripe (green or green/yellow) plantains (this will serve 2 people and leave you wanting more, so feel free to adjust and do more)
- 2-3 cups of coconut oil, enough to submerge plantains
- sea salt
- First step, slice and peel your plantains. There are lots of tips on this, but generally you cut off the ends with a sharp paring knife, slice into 3-4 chunks, and then score the peel (don’t cut into the plantain) to create an opening to then peel away the peel. You may need to use your nails or your knife to get it all off, but you’ll get there.
- Then, get your coconut oil very hot on the stove in a small pot.
- Once it feels deep fry temperature, drop in your peeled plantains. They should start changing color, yellowing/browning. Leave in for a few minutes – like 3-4 – and then transfer to a plate covered in paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Against a cutting board, use a meat tenderizer (flat side) to flatten each plantain chunk. If you don’t have that, anything blunt and flat. Lay the plantain horizontally to smash – it should be laying down, not tall. Nom Nom Paleo had a good suggestion of pounding between two pieces of parchment paper – it’s non stick and keeps your flat object clean. Pound them evenly, but not too thin (1/4 inch is good), so they don’t fall apart on the second frying.
- Now, we do the second fry, a few at a time. About 3 minutes should do it, so they turn a golden yellow/brown.
- Remove and place back on the paper towels to absorb oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and enjoy (once they are cooled down a bit)!
These are great on their own, or as a vessel for other things – I ate these with extra tomatillo sauce from my chicken, but have also enjoyed with guacamole.