Fried Green Plantains (tostones)
I grew up eating tostones as a side dish to whatever Puerto Rican fare my mom was cooking up. We didn't eat PR food every night (my dad was the main cook of the family), but when we did (and still do!) it has always been THE BEST.
Now, I eat fried plantains at least 3x a week..I'm on a kick right now and I'll share below my favorite ways to eat them.
You can find plantains at pretty much any grocery store. I've seen them at all the major grocery stores around me - Kroger, Walmart, Winco, Target, etc.
One thing to note is that tostones come out the best when they are green. They will be more difficult to peel, and harder to squash, BUT they yield a crispier, crunchier end result that I think is totally worth it. Fried yellow plantains are great too, but they are sweet rather than savory, and will fall apart more easily. Just depends what you're looking for, I guess, though the traditional way (and way I prefer) is to cook them up when they are nice and green.
- 1 green plantain
- cooking oil (I like coconut oil, butter or ghee best for these)
- sea salt
- Slice the ends off the plantain and discard. Then take the tip of your knife and slice all the way down the length of the plantain. Carefully peel the skin off. It may come off in chunks, especially if they are very green. If you need the help of a knife, that's okay too.
- Heat some coconut oil in a pan and slice the plantain into 1 inch pieces.
- Fry both sides of the plantain slices until golden, then remove from the pan.
- Using the bottom of a mason jar (or any kind of cup with a flat bottom), gently squash the fried plantains into "chips."
- Add more coconut oil if needed, and fry them again on both sides until golden brown.
- Sprinkle some sea salt on top and serve up in any of these ways:
- With a dipping sauce of equal parts mayo and ketchup
- With avocado smashed on top and a little more sea salt added
- As "chips" for a taco salad or paleo nachos
NOTE: Alternatively, you can cook them in my lazy method. Simply follow these steps instead:
- Slice the ends off the plantain and discard. Slice the plantain in half when it's laid horizontally. Slice each piece in half and peel the skin off from there. (see picture below)
- Fry in the same way, only use a larger flat surface to squash them before the second fry. I like to use the bottom of a small baking dish.
- Fry them a second time until golden brown.