Plantains, or “cooking bananas,” are like bananas’ hearty, thick-skinned cousins. While bananas normally dominate North American and European cuisine, plantains are commonly used in Southeast Asia and South America. Plantains share some characteristics with bananas, but they have some key differences in terms of flavor and usage.
I searched Google (thanks, as always, Google [insert grateful hands emoji]) to discover the real differences between the two:
According to Healthline, “Plantains are usually larger and tougher than bananas, with much thicker skin. They may be green, yellow or very dark brown. Plantains are starchy, tough and not very sweet. They require cooking, as they are not enjoyable to eat raw.”
That being said, you peel and cut them just like bananas. So off we go.
We like to cut them thickly (about 1/4 inches). That way they have more substance to smash down, and you get a nice consistency and texture.
Stick your plantain slices in a frying plan with extra light olive oil. Cook them for about four minutes on each side or until the plantain slices are a nice golden brown color. You want them to be crisp.
Make sure you keep an eye on them so the oil doesn’t get too hot or splatter everywhere.
Once the plantains crisp, take them out of the oil and place them on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
Now take a glass with a nice flat bottom and smash the plantains down. This is a remarkably satisfying stress reliever.
Sprinkle some Redmond’s sea salt over your plantains and admire your ingenuity. Almost done!
Last, but not least, put out your fried plantains with some avocado dip (try our Holy Eda-mole!) and enjoy! These crispy tostones delight guests and family alike with their perfect combination of sweet, salty, and savory. Yum!
Crispy Tostones with Avocado Dip
- 2 green plantains, cut 1/4” slices
- 3 tablespoons extra light olive oil
- Redmond’s sea salt to taste
Heat extra light olive oil on medium high heat.
Add cut plantains.
Cook each side 4 minutes or until plantains reach a light golden brown color.
Remove from heat and place on a paper towel.
Take the bottom of a glass cup and smash the cooked plantains. If sticking occurs, spray bottom of the glass with cooking spray.
Add smashed plantains back to heated pan.
Cook for additional 2 minutes per side, you’re looking for a darker golden color.
Remove and immediately salt with Redmond’s sea salt.
Serve with guacamole.