In the mood for some plantain? You’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll break down how to fry plantain, Jamaican style, and a whole lot more besides. Plantain is a staple in Caribbean and Latin American diets, and also in West and Central Africa. For good reason! There’s a whole lot you can do with this humble cousin of the banana (it’s also known as the cooking banana to some), both in baking and cooking, and we want to get you started with a few fun recipes to try.
How To Fry Plantain, Jamaican Style
Of course we had to start here. Who hasn’t craved a jerk chicken, rice and peas, fried plantain combo?
To start, you’ll need a ripe plantain. How ripe is completely up to you. Some people prefer to fry plantains that have just a few black spots on the yellow skin. Others wait until the skin’s turned completely black for a very sweet, squidgy treat. How you do it is up to you. Why not buy two plantains and experiment? Fry up one plantain that has a few black spots, and the next when it’s completely black, and see which you prefer.
Peel your plantain and diagonal slices around 1cm thick. Then pour about 1cm of oil in a pan and heat on medium until hot. Add the plantain slices and fry on each side until brown. Then sprinkle salt over them to taste. Next, you’ll carefully remove them from the pan and serve. Why not have them with callalloo, ackee, saltfish or curry? If you’re not sure, learn how to cook the best ackee and saltfish here.
How To Make Boiled Plantain
Boiled and steamed plantains are popular in Africa in particular. They can be eaten as a side dish for a stew or curry, or eaten by themselves, accompanied by a hot pepper sauce.
Cut the plantains in half, and then cut through the skin with a knife on the edges. Fill a medium sized pot with water, add the salt and plantains. Cover and boil for 15-20 minutes. When they’re done, the skin will begin to fall away. Wait to cool, then remove the skin and serve.
How To Make Plantain Chips
When you’re starting out making plantain chips, you’ll want to get green plantains as they’re easiest to start. Some people make ripe plantain chips using yellow plantains, which is a bit trickier. As for brown or black plantains? Forget it! You’ll end up with a big load of mush.
If you have a mandoline slicer, now’s the perfect time to get it out. But if not, don’t worry, a small paring knife will do the job.
The first thing to do is to peel the plantains, then to slice them as thinly as you can using either the mandoline slicer or the knife. Next, you’ll put parchment paper onto baking trays and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make up a mix of olive oil and some herbs or spices – black pepper and cayenne is one good combination, or maybe you’d prefer a sweet treat with cinnamon and sugar. Mix the plantain slices with your oil-spice mix, then place them on the parchment paper. Bake for 8 minutes, then turn each slice over and bake for another 8 minutes.
Alternative recipe: You can also make sweet fried plantain chips buy using very ripe plantain and frying them till crisp. Serve warm by itself or with a sweet dip or sauce of choice.
Make Your Own Plantain Lasagna, An Inventive Use For The Cooking Banana
OMG. We just died and went to heaven. Lasagna and plantain – together?!
Known as pastelon, this is technically a plantain and beef casserole popular in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. It’s just like lasagna, but the pasta sheets are subbed for plantain.
Seriously, beef, cheese, and plantain… culinary heaven.
We found a great recipe for it over at the Noshery, and the photos alone are making us drool.