Would You Like Plantains With That? Everything You Need to Know About Tostones

Ah, delicious plantains! They may look like bananas, but they’re firmer, drier, and starchier.

Unlike bananas, plantains are usually used in savory dishes, like tostones, or “twice-fried plantains.” There are many ways to cook them, but deep-fried is the most popular method in the Caribbean countries of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

In this article, you’ll discover how to make tostones and top secrets to the perfect tostones recipe.

It’s not easy being green

There are four stages in the lifespan of a plantain – bright green, solid yellow, yellow with dark spots, and black. Each level of ripeness is sweeter than the last.  To make plantain tostones sweeter, wait longer.

The most traditional tostones are made when the plantain is green. The greenest ones will fry the best, especially in hot, clean oil. Because the fruit is so firm at this stage, it resembles a starchy vegetable.

The first fry is crucial because it softens the plantain pieces before you press them. They’ll get crispy in the second fry.

Quick and comforting

Well-known as comfort food, tostones are high in fiber and delicate in flavor. When made perfectly, they’ll be dry and crisp like a chip. To get this ideal texture, it’s best to cut roughly 1-inch pieces at an angle.

One of the best parts about fried plantains is their sheer simplicity. Plantains, water, salt, garlic, and vegetable oil – that’s it! Better yet, they only take 10-20 minutes to make (including fry and prep time).

Many tostones recipes call for a tostonera to press the slices after the first fry. If you don’t have a tostonera, no worries! Paper towels (to soak up the oil) and a plate or wooden spoon are great substitutes.

Let’s get sauced!

What’s a crispy chip without some dip? Tostones are often paired with sauces to enhance the flavor. One of the more popular dips is classic mayo-ketchup. Just mix mayonnaise and ketchup together.

Avocado sauce is also perfect for fried plantains. Avocados, pepper, salt, lime juice, fresh cilantro, chili powder, and sour cream are all that make up this simple recipe. If you’re a garlic lover, throw together garlic cloves, olive oil, scallion, white vinegar, cumin, and red pepper flakes.

To make these sauces, just blend the ingredients in a food processor and chill it in the fridge for later.

Plantain Perfection

Now that you’ve learned how to make tostones, it’s time to put those secrets to the test. Eat them as snacks, appetizers, or as a side to the main dish.

For the most authentic Latin taste, use unripe plantains. Something to note is the major difficulty novices find in peeling a plantain.

If you’ve never peeled a plantain before, save yourself the time and frustration. Check out this tutorial for instructions.

After you try tostones, you’ll want to serve them to all of your friends and family. To discover more amazing flavors and rich Latin culture, visit amigofoods.com.

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