Patacones or tostones are two names for the same thing: fried green plantains. They are super easy to make and a great alternative to French fries. Go ahead and tell yourself they’re healthier than fries since plantains are a fruit, right?
This is basically a one-ingredient recipe (no one ever counts the salt). All you’re gonna need is a couple of green plantains, salt and oil for frying.
Be sure to get firm green to yellow plantains for this savoury application. Sweet ripe black plantains can also be fried until they’re caramelized (and are also delicious) such as in this recipe for maduros, but for patacones or tostones you’re going to need the starchy green ones.
Tostones are popular all over the Caribbean and are tasty served as a snack with a dipping sauce or as an accompaniment to something more substantial like black beans and rice or vegan picadillo.
First you need to get into that plantain. Despite appearances it’s not as easy as peeling a banana. Cut off the top and bottom then make a long slice down the length of it through the peel. Now you should be able to get your fingers in there and skin that sucker.
In order to make patacones you need to double fry the plantains. Green plantains are super hard so the first fry is to soften them enough to be able to squish them and the second fry is to crisp them up.
So once you’ve sliced your plantains into one-inch slices, carefully place them in a pan of hot oil for about 3 – 5 minutes on each side until they become golden brown.
Then take them out and squish ‘em with something. I’m pretty sure everyone has their own technique for smashing tostones, I just use the bottom of a glass and it works fine. You can also use a wooden spoon, a plate, a special tostonera or anything you can think of to make them flat.
Another 3 – 5 minutes in the frying pan and a sprinkle of sea salt and your patacones are ready to serve. Despite being double fried they’re not greasy, as one might think. Get in there with your fingers and eat them like chips, for sure you can’t eat just one!
Serves 2 - 4
Patacones or tostones are two names for the same thing: fried green plantains. They are super easy to make and a great alternative to French fries.
2 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
22 minTotal Time
- Oil for frying
- 2 firm green or yellowish plantains
- Sea salt
- In a pan heat about half an inch of oil over medium heat.
- While it’s heating prepare the plantains. Cut both ends off them make a slice from top to bottom just through the peel. Peel them.
- Slice both plantains into pieces about an inch thick.
- When the oil is hot, I like to test the heat of my oil by sticking a wooden chopstick in it – it’s ready when the oil bubbles around it, carefully place several slices of plantain into the pan. You’ll want to work in batches to avoid over crowing your pan.
- Fry for 3 – 5 minutes on the first side then flip them over and fry for 3 – 5 minutes more. When they’re golden, remove to a paper towel-lined plate and let them drain for a few minutes while you fry the next batch.
- Move the fried plantain pieces over to a cutting board and squish them under a cup, mug, plate, wooden spoon or whatever you can until they are half the size.
- Fry them for a second time for 3 – 5 minutes. They probably won’t need to be flipped if you have enough oil in the pan to cover them this time.
- Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce or to accompany rice and beans.
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