Cuban fried plantains are a savory side dish served with many Latin American meals. The golden crispy flattened discs open to a soft starchy interior. The texture and flavor is similar to a baked potato.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Plantains are a fantastic side dish. Fried when green they make amazing 'chips' called tostones to serve with Latin and Latin influenced dishes. They don't take long to cook up, and are readily available year round.
- Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Latin Influenced Cuisines
- What are Cuban Fried Plantains?
- Cuban Fried Plantains Ingredients
- How to Make Cuban Fried Plantains
- Related Recipes
- Cuban Fried Plantains Serving Ideas
- Tips for success
- Frequently asked questions
- Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love
- 📖 Recipe
- Food Safety
Latin Influenced Cuisines
The Spanish name for fried green plantain is Tostones. Plantains (or platanos in Spanish) are a frequent side dish and a popular Latin and Pan American recipes.
What are Cuban Fried Plantains?
Cuban fried plantains are made from green plantains look like large green bananas. Unlike bananas, they are starchy and have a potato texture and flavor. Plantains need to be cooked before eating. Boiling and mashing, or frying are typical cooking treatments.
A favorite way to prepare green plantains is frying and serving as thick plantain chips with a meal. The starchy texture make them a delicious savory snack. When you see them on the menu as "Tostones" you know they are the savory, crispy fried plantain chips.
Cuban Fried Plantains Ingredients
- 4 large green plantains
- Vegetable oil for shallow frying
- Salt to taste
- or Chili Lime salt to taste (optional)
Full ingredient amounts and preparation instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Cuban Fried Plantains
This is a quick overview of how to make Cuban fried plantains. The full recipe and full instructions are at the bottom of this post.
How to Peel a Plantain
Green plantains are a bit stubborn to peel. The trick is slicing about ¼" deep down the length of each. Then, you will pry the peel away from the fruit. A more detailed explanation is in the recipe instructions below.
How to Cut a Plantain
- Cut the green plantains into chunks between 1" and 2".
- Place them in your heated skillet. This first fry is to cook the chunks all the way through. They should be a pale golden color.
- Drain on a paper towel. I'm using the Carote 9.5" Granite Skillet here, but for a larger batch I would have used my Calaphon 12" Oil Infused Skillet.
Fry Plantains Cuban style
- Flatten the plantain chunks into discs. The chunks should smash down easily. They should 'blossom' with the soft insides pushing out around the central chunk.
If the plantain chunks break apart when flattening them, that means they were not cooked long enough. Just return them to the skillet on medium low for a few more minutes. You can use a lid also.
- After flattening to about ½" thickness you will then return to the skillet for the second crisping fry.
Frying a second time until crispy and golden
- Return to the skillet after flattening each plantain chunk into a wider disc shape. Shallow fry on each side until crispy and golden.
Cuban Fried Plantains Serving Ideas
Complemented by a shake of salt, or if you dare, chili lime salt, these are a perfect snack!
Cuban fried plantains are a perfect savory side to beans, tacos, and other spicy dishes. Cuban plantain chips are traditionally served with Cuban Black Beans, Cilantro Lime Rice, Cuban Chicken Soup, and other Latin main dishes as a side.
Tostones, or Fried plantains, can be dipped in a spicy garlic sauce, or just simply as 'chips' dipped in Pico de Gallo.
Tips for success
- Buy unblemished green plantains, as they are easier to peel.
- Use a glass lid during first fry with a lower heat, so they stay pale, but cook fully inside.
- Drain on a paper towel after each fry session.
- Shallow fry, don't cover with oil or deep fry.
Frequently asked questions
We get lots of questions about making fried green plantains. Below are some common questions.
No, plantains are related to the banana, but are starchy and do not have the banana flavor.
Yes, whether green or yellow, simply peel the skins off and trim any bruises or spots off.
So glad you asked! Yes, after the first fry and the flattening, store them in the freezer or refrigerator. Putting a bit of wax paper between them will prevent them from sticking together. Defrost before finishing with the second fry.
Pork Pibil, Cuban Black Beans, Filipino Adobo, and many other Latin influenced cuisines. Think of them as Latin potato chips.
Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love
Cuban Fried Plantains (Tostones)
- Iberia Mojo for Yuca and Tostones 10 oz
- Trader Joe's Chile Lime Seasoning Blend, 2.9 oz
- 4 large green plantains
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil for shallow frying
- ½ teaspoon salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon chili lime salt to taste optional
- Cut the ends off each plantain.
- Run a knife down the back curve of each plantain, about ¼" deep.
- Slip your thumb between the flesh and the peel, gently easying it off the plantain. Don't worry about bits of peel that stick, you can use the paring knife to remove those bits.
- Cut the plantains into 1" to 2" chunks. Not on the diagonal.
- In a large skillet, heat just enough oil to prevent sticking to medium.
- Fry a layer of plantains on medium low until light golden on both sides. About 5 minutes for each side. You can use a lid to ensure the interior of the chunks fully cooks without over browning during this first fry.
- Transfer to a paper towel lined plate when pale golden but tender in the interior.
- Flatten each plantain chunk with the bottom of a glass tumbler, measuring cup, or a tostonera if you have one. Press down on the plantains enough to flatten to about a ½" thick disc.
- Return the flattened plantains discs to the hot oil. Fry a second time until crisp around the edges that have squished out during their flattening, about 2 minutes on each side.
- Serve on a platter while hot after sprinkling with regular salt, or Chili Lime Salt.
- As you flatten each plantain chunk, it should 'blossom'. If it does not, or they just fall apart, than the plantain was not cooked enough first. Green plantains are starchy like baked russet potatoes when fully cooked.
- You can refrigerate or freeze these after the first fry and pressing. Store them in a freezer safe container with bits of wax paper between them. When you are ready to serve some, take them out of the refrigerator or freezer. Defrost first if frozen. Fry them till golden crispy, about 2 minutes on each side and serve.
- These are tradionally served with Garlic Mojo sauce. Chili Lime Salt is a nice option for additional flavor also!
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove.
- See more guidelines at USDA.gov.