Saturday, May 9, 2009

Deep Fried Plaintains

The island has lots of foreign workers here in the summer. In the past we've had lots of Jamaicans,but this year due to visa issues it looks like we'll have a lot of folks from the Philippines. Since we have had so many Jamaicans in the past, one rather exotic food that our little island grocery store (Doud's) stocks all summer is plantains. That suits me just fine because I love deep friend plantains.

If you've never had a plantain, they look like a green banana but they aren't sweet. Lots of Caribbean cultures use them like we use potatoes. I've eaten them several different ways, but deep fried is my favorite. Believe it or not, they are really easy to make...

You'll need:

About 5 plantains (not too green, but not really yellow either)
deep fryer and oil (we use peanut oil)
A slotted spoon or similar to get them in and out of the fryer
salt
lime juice

What to do:

Peel the plantains and throw out the peels. Slice the fruit into about one inch sections. Deep fry a few of them at a time until they are golden brown.

Pull them out of the fryer and let them cool for a minute or two on a wire rack. (The wire rack lets the excess oil drip away.) Go ahead and fry more while these cool.
Once they have cooled off a bit, use a glass to squish them. Press them flat and thin - not potato chip thin, but as thin as you can get them. If they stick to your cutting board or place, just use a spatula to get them up. These are great to make after a rough day because you can get out all your frustrations as you squish them.
Then deep fry the plantains a second time. Fry them until they are golden brown and look done. If you are not sure, try one and let it cool. Taste it. Do you like the texture? We usually cook ours so the edges are crispy but the insides are still a bit chewy. I love how the cooking brings out the sweetness of the plantains.

Salt them heavily, dip in a bit of lime juice and enjoy a little taste of summer. Now I'm wondering what little bits of Philippine cooking I might discover at Doud's this summer...

15 comments:

Mum-me said...

Never heard of this fruit, and I have to say it looks unappetising to me. I'd give it a try though!
Hope you find a great Phillipino food.

kate said...

Awesome!! I've seen plantains and wondered what to do with them, thanks!

Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

mmm. I think it looks tasty. Oh, I'm positive my kids would love the squishing part!

Manoute said...

It looks yummy, I'll try. I love "sautéed" plantain.

Jess B said...

I've always wanted to try these! Maybe I'll be brave enough next time I see them in the store. Thanks!

Marcia said...

Sounds good!

peaceliving said...

Oh, Liz, I LOVE fried plantains! That was one of the main reasons I went to a Cuban restaurant for my bday last year. I've never tried to make them myself. Thanks for the tips!

Katie said...

uummmmm! The plantain might be hard to find here...unless dh can special order them from work, sounds yummy! R U warming up out there on the lake? it was 62 here today.

Betts said...

I've never tried them before, but thanks to your illustrated guide, I might now.

KatieC said...

I've been using plantains since I got back this spring! They are amazing!!!

dutchgirl said...

I can't believe you wrote about platanos and I missed it! ;) I was introduced to them by my husband, who grew up in South America. They are a staple in our house. We love them ripe as well, baked with a lot of honey.. mmmmm.

muralimanohar said...

Plantains are a staple food in the Philippine diet, too. I bet they were happy to see them in the middle of a little island in the middle of America! :p I hate bananas, but they are one form I actually do like.

Yarni Gras! said...

we make these but do them thinner, like chips.......yum! Yours look smashing! (I'm so cheesy, couldn't resist.)

bill secrest said...

I have been eating these for over 40 yrs,my uncle who is puerto rican has been eating these with rice and beans for over 80 years and he still has the energy of a 40 yr old.I will continue to eat them as he is still alive and eating them.

muralimanohar said...

The cooking bananas in the backyard are ripening, (different to eating, and plaintain bananas) and I was remembering this recipe to try with them. :p I wonder if, if I cook them green, will I be able to stand them? :p