Tostones – Fried Green Plantains

I grew up eating tostones on the island of Puerto Rico. Double fried green plantains are easier to make than you think. Nothing beats the taste of tostones, they make a great side to any dish and are also considered to be paleo friendly and also Whole30 diet compliant.  Platanos are considered a starchy fruit, although they are consumed like a vegetable -they are more similar to a tomato  than a banana.  They may  look like large bananas but plantains cannot be eaten raw.  They are harder to peel (especially when green). Tostones are very easy to make and the final product is delicious.

So come on let’s learn how to make tostones. ( printable recipe at end of post)

THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS MATTER: GREEN PLANTAINS ONLY

If you want the best tostones one rule matters the most, ingredients matter. With that said selecting the greenest, hardest plantain is very important. Seriously, the greener the better. Why? you ask, well plantains as they ripen turn yellowish, this also makes the plantain sweeter. For tostones we want starchy, green plantains.

Green Plantains
Yellowish  Plantains

PEEL THE PLANTAINS

First, you want to start by cutting  the ends off of each plantain. Use a knife to cut through the skin of the plantain, lengthwise, from top to bottom. Try to only to cut through the skin, as you don’t want to slice into the inner portion, which will form the tostones. Use your fingers or a spoon to pry open.  Peel off the tough outer skin. Discard the skin of the plantains.  The plantain is very starchy so keep away from your clothes or wear an apron.

SLICE THE PLANTAIN: SIZE MATTERS

Slice the peeled plantains into 1 inch rounds. Equally important is the size of the cut,  you want to cut them as evenly as possible. Why is this important? Because it will help them cook evenly.

FRY THE SLICED PLANTAIN IN HOT OIL

In a frying pan, pour oil ( oil needs to cover the entire 1 inch rounds you just cut so that they can cook properly).  Add the plantain slices to the oil. The oil should be just warm enough that it begins to lightly bubble shortly after adding the plantains, but should not bubble vigorously. Fry the plantains until softened and golden all over, about 4 minutes on each side.

Use a Spider spoon or tongs to transfer to a paper towel lined plate/bowl.

FLATTEN THE FRIED SLICED PLANTAIN

To flatten the plantain rounds you need to smash them. You can use “una tostonera” which is this wood utensil that you see in the pictures below, but you can also use the bottom of a glass cup, can or plate.

Smash them just enough that they flatten out, but don’t try to make them too thin, or they will break apart.

BRUSH WITH OIL

Brush the flattened plantain coin with oil. Repeat with the rest of the fried plantain.  My mom likes to dip the flattened plantain coin in the garlic-salt water and she let it sit for about 10 seconds, then remove from the water and gently pats dry with a paper towel. I find that it cause the plantains to react with the oil once fried for the second time. Choose what works best for you.

SEASON WITH SALT

Next you will want to season each plantain coin with salt. We are meticulous about this step making sure each coin has enough salt.  The oil that was brushed on will help the salt adhere to the plantain.

REFRY THE SEASON & FLATTENED PLANTAIN

Finally, when nearly ready to serve, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the flattened plantains back to the oil in batches and briefly fry until they are crisp, I estimate about 1 minute per side. Remove with a spider spoon/tongs and transfer to a paper towel lined plate ( don’t skip the paper towel as it absorbs the extra oil).

SERVE , ENJOY!

RECIPE

TOSTONES ( fried plantains)

Crispy Double fried Plantains

Ingredients

  • 4 large Green Plantains
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil, or as needed
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt, plus more to top

Instructions

  1. Cut the ends off of each plantain, and use a knife to cut through the skin of the plantain, lengthwise, from top to bottom. Try to only to cut through the skin, as you don’t want to slice into the inner portion, which will form the tostones. Use your fingers or a spoon to pry open and peel off the tough outer skin

  2. Slice the peeled plantains into 1 inch rounds. Remember that size does mater, you want to cut them as evenly as possible. Why is this important? Because it will help them cook evenly

  3. In a frying pan, pour oil ( oil needs to cover the entire 1 inch rounds you just cut so that they can cook properly).  Add the plantain slices to the oil. The oil should be just warm enough that it begins to lightly bubble shortly after adding the plantains, but should not bubble vigorously. Fry the plantains until softened and golden all over, about 4 minutes on each side.

  4. Use a Spider spoon or tongs to transfer to a paper towel lined plate/bowl.

  5. To flatten the plantain rounds you need to smash them. You can use “una tostonera” which is this wood utensil that you see in the pictures below, but you can also use the bottom of a glass cup, can or plate. Smash them just enough that they flatten out, but don’t try to make them too thin, or they will break apart.

  6. Brush the flattened plantain coin with oil. Repeat with the rest of the fried plantain.

  7. Season each plantain coin with salt. We are meticulous about this step making sure each coin has enough salt.  The oil that was brushed on will help the salt adhere to the plantain.

  8. When nearly ready to serve, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the flattened plantains back to the oil in batches and briefly fry until they are crisp, I estimate about 1 minute per side. Remove with a spider spoon/tongs and transfer to a paper towel lined plate ( don’t skip the paper towel as it absorbs the extra oil).

  9. serve and enjoy!

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