Fried plantain is caramel sweet and delicious. Plantains are a staple of the tropical region, from far east Asia to west and east Africa to the Americas, and are enjoyed in different ways.
They are high in potassium and fibre and when ripe, they are fried to make a delicious snack, meal or side dish to jollof rice, fried rice, beans porridge, adalu (Beans and Corn Porridge), Spicy goat meat (Asun), Tomato stew etc.
When plantains are ripe and at their best for frying, they will be soft but firm and their skin, yellow and black and peel easily. At this stage, it is very sweet, the starch has converted to sugar which caramelizes upon frying giving you a candy-like sweetness.
Most times the plantain is cut on the diagonal for frying. It gives you more surface area for that caramel goodness. This cut is best when eating with tomato stew, slice them about 1/2-inch thick. You can also cut it into circles or cubes, best when served with jollof rice.
Use a neutral tasting oil to fry your plantains or if you want added flavour, palm oil is excellent. Use at least 1-inch or more of oil (more is better), this reduces the likelihood of sticking to the pan. The temperature of the oil has to be medium hot on the average but when the plantains are very ripe, you will need to increase the oil temperature to reduce the amount of oil absorbed by the plantains. If the plantains are still quite firm, use lower oil temperature.
Plantains take roughly 5 minutes to brown so if they are browning too fast, the heat is too much, lower the temperature. You might need to keep adjusting your heat until you get the hang of it.
Don’t overcrowd the oil, it will lower the oil temperature and cause your plantains to soak up oil. Also, you need to have enough space in the pan to be able to flip your plantains over.
How to make Fried plantain
Ripe Plantains Salt Vegetable oil
Wash plantains and cut off the ends.
Run a knife along the length the of the plantain cutting through the skin.
Peel skin back to remove.
Cut plantain in diagonal slices, use a chopping board if you need to.
Place plantain slices in a bowl and sprinkle a little of salt over it, toss to mix.
Line a plate with paper napkins and set aside.
Place a saucepan or deep frying pan of oil over medium-high heat, when hot, using a slotted spoon or spider spoon, add some plantains to the oil and spread into a single layer.
Do not overcrowd the oil.
Leave to fry until the edges begin to brown, flip to other side.
Fry until golden brown.
Drain onto a lined plate allow to cool a little, then serve.
- If the plantains are not very ripe and therefore hard after frying, put them a tightly covered bowl, the steam will soften them a little.
- Don’t leave your plantains unattended when frying, they can go from brown to black in a short time.
- Bring the plantain slices out from the hot oil when they are almost the colour you want, the residual heat will brown them further.
- Fried plantains are really hot just out of the oil and take a while to cool down so resist the temptation of popping some into your mouth. I put some of mine in the fridge to cool fast.
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