Many years ago I (well my parents and lil’ sis mostly) had a double life in Panama. Yes, the country, not Panama City, Florida. They lived there for four years while I was in college and I went back to visit during Christmas and summer break. During that time I was introduced to: piña coladas, ceviche and tostones; among other things of course. Tostones are fried plantains. What are plantains? They are basically green bananas that can’t be eaten raw but need cooking first. In Panama, the cooking method chosen is fried – double fried mind you. I know this is a common food in some Central and South American countries and islands in the Caribbean as well but I don’t know exactly who claims ownership of such deliciousness. Where can you buy plantains? Plantains are relatively common in major grocery stores though my local Krogers didn’t have them and I had to go to their competition (gasp!). If you have a local Latin market go there – and if such market serves tacos have some too while you shop. I LOVE TACOS.
Now let’s go back to these magic words I mentioned earlier: “double fried.” I think is common knowledge that everything fried is good and you can pretty much fry anything. These babies are fried not once, but twice! Remember my fear of making small foods? I GUESS fried plantains are kinda small foods? But also easy to make. It comes down to chop, fry once, smash, fry again, eat. That’s it. Follow me please…
- 2 plantains
- Oil for frying (I used sunflower oil)
- Peel plantains and chop in 1-inch disks.
- Heat enough oil in a skillet so disks and half-submerged in the oil. When the oil is sizzling add the disks and cook until about 3-5 minutes on each side until soft. Remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate.
- Place the plantains in a cutting board and smash them using the back on a wooden spoon until they are flat.
- Add the plantains back to the skillet and fry about 3 minutes on each side or until golden.