In April 2018, my wife and I spent 11 days in Nicaragua for our honeymoon, and that beautiful, volcano-smattered country taught us a thing or ten about Central American vegetarian food. I had bronchitis from arrival to departure (so romantic), and the flavors of gallo pinto, fried plantains, and Flor de Caña brought all the comfort. Almost immediately after our departure, Nicaragua catapulted into political unrest, with violence and death tolls continuing to rise. I’m so grateful for the generosity and friendliness we experienced during our trip, and because donating doesn’t always feel like enough, I’ve also been recreating our favorite Nicaraguan meals as a reciprocal healing gesture.
Now, let’s get to it. Fried plantains add a delicious, creamy, sweet, and salty flavor to any dish. Better yet, they’re crazy easy to make and are bound to impress your guests/family because many folks only encounter them in restaurants. Here’s all you have to do: find a plantain, slice it, and fry it. For me, the most difficult part is finding a store that consistently sells plantains (our local co-op does) and learning how to tell if it’s ripe.
To find a ripe plantain, let go of your banana comparisons. The peel should be black, or at least a dull yellow with patches of black. In this case, bruised fruit is your friend, and you want to go for the darkness. The riper the plantain, the faster it will cook and the sweeter the end result will taste. Unripe plantains are more dense and less sweet when cooked.
Don’t know what to use fried plantains for? Try Gallo Pinto or a Black Bean Bowl for starters. Let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #plantandvine on Instagram.Print
Quick & Easy Fried Plantains
The easiest recipe at Plant & Vine! Find the plantain, slice it up, fry it, and you’re finished.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Side
- Method: Frying
- Cuisine: Caribbean
- 1 plantain, sliced into coins (see photo)
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil for frying (I used grapeseed)
- Peel and slice the plantain into 1/2 inch wide coins.
- Add oil to non-stick skillet and put on medium-high heat. Make sure there is good oil coverage in pan; you don’t want it to be too dry.
- When oil is heated and begins to shimmer, place plantain coins in skillet. You will cook about 2 minutes on each side. You want them to be golden and browned on each side.
- Remove plantains from skillet and place on plate with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Sprinkle with sea salt before serving for salty sweet deliciousness.
*Recipe is a guide. Adapt ingredients and measurements as desired.
Keywords: Fried plantains, plantains, caribbean food