Easy Fried Plantains Recipe

Plantains are a confusing fruit ... or are they a vegetable? Well, as Garden Guides reported, this banana look-alike is technically a fruit, but unlike the banana it so closely resembles, the plantain tends to be used in more vegetable-like ways, meaning it is primarily a component of savory dishes. This is probably because although it looks almost exactly like a banana, the plantain has a very different flavor and isn't nearly as sweet. We could, perhaps, call it a "fruitable" ... or we could just call it delicious — especially when it's fried.

As recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge puts it, "Fried plantain is so good!" She says this dish evokes childhood memories for her and calls it "a sentimental thing," explaining, "This is a side I had growing up and still have now." If you're unfamiliar with the flavor of plantains, she describes them as both meaty and carby, saying they're "A bit like sweet potato [and] more starch[y], too."

Gather the ingredients for fried plantains

The most important ingredient, and one that is absolutely necessary to make fried plantains, is, of course, plantains. You can buy these at a number of more mainstream supermarkets, and they are also readily available at Asian and Hispanic grocers. When you're looking for plantains, Olayinka advises looking for ripe ones, and says, "[These are] not completely green, not completely yellow either. Yellow slightly going black is the best."

There's just one more thing you'll need to make these fried plantains, and that is some cooking oil to fry them in. Nothing fancy needed here — Olayinka uses vegetable oil.

Prepare the plantains for cooking

You'll first need to peel the plantains before you can cook them, of course. Plantains aren't quite as easy to peel as bananas. Olayinka says the best method involves slicing off the ends, then scoring the skin in the middle of the fruit and peeling the skin back from there.

Once the plantains are peeled, slice them on the diagonal into pieces ½-inch thick. Sprinkle the plantain pieces with ¼ teaspoon of salt. While Olayinka does say, "You can salt [the plantains] before or after [you cook them]," she explains that she prefers salting before cooking "as the plantains are stickier [when they're] raw."

Carefully fry the plantains in hot oil

Pour the vegetable oil into a frying pan, and heat it over medium-low heat. When the oil is hot (shimmering, but not yet starting to smoke), add the plantain pieces to the oil. Olayinka says, "They burn very fast, so it is better to cook them low and slow." Cook them for about seven minutes on each side, then turn them over to cook for another seven minutes on the other side. Olayinka again advises, "Be careful not to burn the plantains," but says to "ensure that they are golden brown when you flip them over."

Serve the fried plantains while they're hot

Once the plantains are done, use a spatula or slotted spoon to remove them from the oil, and let them drain on a paper towel to remove the excess oil. If desired, you can sprinkle them with additional salt. Olayinka says that if you're serving fried plantains as a side, "[This dish] pairs wonderfully with rice, especially rice and peas and curry goat or jollof rice and chicken."

You could also enjoy your fried plantains all by themselves as a snack, Olayinka notes, "I've heard people have [them] with guacamole," or you could try them with curry ketchup or salsa or any other flavorful condiment of your choice.

Easy Fried Plantains Recipe
5 from 49 ratings
This recipe for fried plantains is so seamless to pull together when you're in need of a tasty side or snack.
Prep Time
4
minutes
Cook Time
14
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
fried plantains on wire rack
Total time: 18 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe plantains
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Peel the plantains by chopping off the ends, then gently scoring the skin in the middle and peeling it off.
  2. Slice the plantains at an angle into ½-inch pieces.
  3. Lay the plantain pieces on a plate, and sprinkle them with salt.
  4. Pour the vegetable oil into a frying pan, and bring the heat up to medium-low.
  5. Carefully add the plantains to the hot oil, and cook for 7 minutes on each side.
  6. Drain the plantains on a paper towel before serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 228
Total Fat 13.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 28.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 13.4 g
Sodium 148.9 mg
Protein 1.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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