Who doesn’t love plantains? I find it can be enjoyed any way and can go with almost any savoury dish.
During a recent trip to the market I set my eyes on a well placed stall with an array of plantains bundled in sets of 4 varying from green to bright yellow ones speckled with black & brown dots. I picked up a set of the yellow ripe ones to make with the stew and rice I planned on having later that evening. I learnt the secret to making sweet plantains is selecting the riper ones. The browner and more speckled it is the more promising it will be and of course the softer it should be at the touch.
I made this over the weekend, the first time in a while.
Peeling the skin off, I scraped the first layer of the plantain with a knife. The texture feels slightly rough at the touch and scraping it off reveals a much softer layer which becomes sticky at the touch. I slice diagonally on a chopping board. Sometimes with the plantains in my hand, a way my mother usually does it after many years of practice.
I place the sliced plantains in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and sugar. Sugar being the secret Ingriedient to amplifying the sweetness and lending a crispy yet caremalised outer layer.
- 3 ripe plantains
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt (large pinch)
- ½ teaspoon sugar
I think it’s best to use a non-stick pan or a skillet.
Heat the oil on medium heat, the oil must be hot before adding the plantain. To test for this, drop in a slice of plantain & once it starts to crackle add the remaining.
It’s always a good idea to cook in batches, and again I found over-crowding the pan with plantain (which I am often very guilty of) makes it hard for them to cook evenly.
Cook them on both sides for about 3 minutes until they are golden brown and transfer to a dish, I find using a kitchen towel is great for soaking up excess oil.
Once all the batches are cooked leave to cool before serving. It’s often tempting as I have a habit of picking at them because they taste so good.