Minutes on this site
|Fried Plantains (Platanos)
At home in the U.S., you can find plantains (or platanos)
in Mexican markets or larger supermarkets. They are a cousin of the
breakfast banana but are much larger.
First thing to do is look at
the differences in ripening stages or maturity. The photo at the right
shows the distinction.
Green - Called verdes
Brown/Black - Called maduros (mature)
The green 'stage' is used in making
When traveling in Honduras, you will see all stages of ripeness served.
Whatever is in the kitchen gets presented to you. When we were traveling
on Roatan, I saw kids walking around eating whole verdes that had been
My recipe calls for using the
black, or ripened
plantain. They are the sweetest
stage as the sugars form within the fruit. But how do you pick out a good,
ripe plantain? Easy.
You will be fine as long as the plantain isn't past its prime. Don't buy
it if the skin is starting to dry, if it is hard, or squishy. If all the
plantains are green, buy some and ripen them in a brown paper bag on your
countertop. 5-6 days will do it. Don't worry, you will get the hang
plantains serves two people.
Cut the banana in half. (Don't peel yet).
Cut each 1/2 lengthwise. You now have
quartered the plantain into four equal, narrow, relatively flat pieces.
peel the plantain, more by pulling it off with your knife than peeling per se.
Heat 1/4" corn or soybean oil in a pan (I
like olive oil in the kitchen but you can't take the temperature too high)
Put the plantain in the oil when the oil has
reached a medium-high temperature. If oil smokes, turn it down.
Turn the plantain when the natural sugars in the
fruit begin to carmelize (just starting to turn brown) - about 6 minutes
Fry the other side - about 5 minutes
Place fried plantains on paper towels to remove
Serve. Voilá - you are a Honduran.