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Fried Plantains With Coconut

Fried Plantains With Coconut

Why This Recipe Works

  • Shallow-frying the plantains at moderate heat and then lowering the temperature for the final duration lets them cook relatively slowly, giving the sugars plenty of time to caramelize and get extra sweet without giving the plantain a chance to dry out.

I picked up the nasty, black, almost-starting-to-shrivel things from the fruit bowl on the kitchen counter and was about halfway to the garbage when I was stopped short by my wife’s sudden and very loud cry:¬†what are you doing?!

What do you mean, what am I doing, dear? I’m throwing out these rotten plantains that now look more like something produced by the dog than something we should be keeping in the good company of our perfectly respectable grapefruits and mangoes.

Wrong choice of words. My wife proceeded to explain to me just how carefully she had been coddling those plantains, waiting for days and days until they were at just the right level of blackness (that would be pitch black and right on the cusp of starting to shrivel) so that they would be of optimal sweetness when we finally fried them.

I’m glad she caught me when she did. As someone who loves a good salty-sweet snack, fried ripe plantains represent one of the pinnacles of the form.

Truth be told, I’d been enjoying¬†maduros* ever since the first time her Aunt Gloria made them for us many years ago, though I never bothered to peek into her kitchen to see how she did it. Soft and tender with a lightly greasy exterior and a sweet, caramelized flavor, they don’t have the crispness you may expect from a starchier fried food, but that’s part of their appeal.

*It literally means “mature(s),” and leads to humorous flubs in menu translations in Colombia

See, as plantains mature, their starches slowly convert into sugars and enzymatic reactions lead to the formation of many aromatic compounds that aren’t present in their green or yellow forms. It’s these starches that set up and give fried foods crispness. So while a fried green plantain (known in Colombia as a¬†patac√≥n) is extra crisp but relatively bland, a fried black plantain is packed with flavor with a softer, more custard-like texture.

Just like bananas, apples, and tomatoes, plantains ripen better at room temperature in a relatively enclosed environment, like in a bowl with other fruits, or inside a paper bag. Plantains give off ethylene gas, the natural trigger for ripening. The more concentrated that gas, the faster the fruit will ripen. From green to black, a plantain can take over a month to fully mature in a bowl. Put them in a paper bag and the time will be cut down to a matter of weeks or even days.

Luckily, most good Latin markets will sell plantains at a variety of maturity levels, so ripening need not take that long.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt


The trick to great maduros is to cook them relatively slowly, giving the sugars plenty of time to caramelize and get extra sweet without giving the plantain a chance to dry out. To do this, I shallow fry them, first starting in moderately hot oil and cooking them just long enough that they develop a thin pale golden brown pellicle on their exterior to keep them from sticking together. From there, I lower the heat and cook them slowly until deep brown and completely tender throughout.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt


Sprinkled with just a little salt, they are excellent as is, but if you want to go a little more balanced, a little more complex in your snacks (and who wouldn’t?), they are miles better when some of that greasy, sweet-and-salty, custard-like flavor is cut with a sharp, acidic sauce. In my wife’s aunt’s place, that sauce would be a simple tomato and onion¬†Aj√≠, the Colombian equivalent of a Mexican salsa. But [shhhh…] I secretly prefer my plantains with a Puerto Rican-style¬†Mojo, a parsley and garlic-flavored rough sauce very similar to¬†Italian-Style Salsa Verde. In¬†this version, I add a handful of mint leaves to the parsley for an added dimension.

March 2013

  • 1 cup¬†light olive, canola, or vegetable oil

  • 2 large¬†ripe (black, see note) plantains, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch disks on a slight bias

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 recipe¬†mint mojo¬†or¬†Colombian-style aj√≠

  1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the plantains in a single layer (the oil should come at least half way up their sides. If not, add more oil). Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until lightly golden brown on first side, about 2 minutes. Cook second side until light golden brown, about 1 minute longer. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until dark golden brown and caramelized, about 4 minutes longer.

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy


  2. Transfer plantains to paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon or spatula. Flip a few times to drain completely, then season immediately with salt. Serve immediately with Mint Mojo or Ají on the side.

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy


Special Equipment

12-inch non-stick or cast iron skillet

Notes

Ripe plantains will be completely black‚ÄĒalmost to the degree that you think you need to throw them out.

Read More

  • Mint Mojo (Puerto Rican-style Garlic Sauce with Mint)
  • Aj√≠ (Colombian-Style Tomato and Onion Salsa)

,
, ,Low-Sodium
, Why This Recipe Works Shallow-frying the plantains at moderate heat and then lowering the temperature for the final duration lets them cook relatively slowly, giving the sugars plenty of time to caramelize and get extra sweet without giving the plantain a chance to dry out. I picked up the nasty, black, almost-starting-to-shrivel things from the
, http://www.edamam.com/ontologies/edamam.owl#recipe_b46cec2f494ca0367a61ff7c05e13161

, 8
, Low-Sodium
, Vegan,Vegetarian,Pescatarian,Dairy-Free,Gluten-Free,Wheat-Free,Egg-Free,Peanut-Free,Tree-Nut-Free,Soy-Free,Fish-Free,Shellfish-Free,Pork-Free,Red-Meat-Free,Crustacean-Free,Celery-Free,Mustard-Free,Sesame-Free,Lupine-Free,Mollusk-Free,Alcohol-Free,FODMAP-Free,Kosher
, Tree-Nuts,Sulfites
, Ingredients:

  • 7 ounce glutinous rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 4 x Bananas

,
, Why This Recipe Works Shallow-frying the plantains at moderate heat and then lowering the temperature for the final duration lets them cook relatively slowly, giving the sugars plenty of time to caramelize and get extra sweet without giving the plantain a chance to dry out. I picked up the nasty, black, almost-starting-to-shrivel things from the fruit bowl on the kitchen counter and was about halfway to the garbage when I was stopped short by my wife’s sudden and very loud cry:¬†what are you doing?! What do you mean, what am I doing, dear? I’m throwing out these rotten plantains that now look more like something produced by the dog than something we should be keeping in the good company of our perfectly respectable grapefruits and mangoes. Wrong choice of words. My wife proceeded to explain to me just how carefully she had been coddling those plantains, waiting for days and days until they were at¬†just¬†the right level of blackness (that would be pitch black and right on the cusp of starting to shrivel) so that they would be of optimal sweetness when we finally fried them. I’m glad she caught me when she did. As someone who loves a good salty-sweet snack, fried ripe plantains represent one of the pinnacles of the form. Truth be told, I’d been enjoying¬†maduros* ever since the first time her Aunt Gloria made them for us many years ago, though I never bothered to peek into her kitchen to see how she did it. Soft and tender with a lightly greasy exterior and a sweet, caramelized flavor, they don’t have the crispness you may expect from a starchier fried food, but that’s part of their appeal. *It literally means “mature(s),” and leads to humorous flubs in menu translations in Colombia See, as plantains mature, their starches slowly convert into sugars and enzymatic reactions lead to the formation of many aromatic compounds that aren’t present in their green or yellow forms. It’s these starches that set up and give fried foods crispness. So while a fried green plantain (known in Colombia as a¬†patac√≥n) is extra crisp but relatively bland, a fried black plantain is packed with flavor with a softer, more custard-like texture. Just like bananas, apples, and tomatoes, plantains ripen better at room temperature in a relatively enclosed environment, like in a bowl with other fruits, or inside a paper bag. Plantains give off ethylene gas, the natural trigger for ripening. The more concentrated that gas, the faster the fruit will ripen. From green to black, a plantain can take over a month to fully mature in a bowl. Put them in a paper bag and the time will be cut down to a matter of weeks or even days. Luckily, most good Latin markets will sell plantains at a variety of maturity levels, so ripening need not take that long. Serious Eats / J. Kenji L√≥pez-Alt The trick to great maduros is to cook them relatively slowly, giving the sugars plenty of time to caramelize and get extra sweet without giving the plantain a chance to dry out. To do this, I shallow fry them, first starting in moderately hot oil and cooking them just long enough that they develop a thin pale golden brown pellicle on their exterior to keep them from sticking together. From there, I lower the heat and cook them slowly until deep brown and completely tender throughout. Serious Eats / J. Kenji L√≥pez-Alt Sprinkled with just a little salt, they are excellent as is, but if you want to go a little more balanced, a little more complex in your snacks (and who wouldn’t?), they are miles better when some of that greasy, sweet-and-salty, custard-like flavor is cut with a sharp, acidic sauce. In my wife’s aunt’s place, that sauce would be a simple tomato and onion¬†Aj√≠, the Colombian equivalent of a Mexican salsa. But [shhhh…] I secretly prefer my plantains with a Puerto Rican-style¬†Mojo, a parsley and garlic-flavored rough sauce very similar to¬†Italian-Style Salsa Verde. In¬†this version, I add a handful of mint leaves to the parsley for an added dimension. March 2013 1 cup¬†light olive, canola, or vegetable oil 2 large¬†ripe (black, see note) plantains, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch disks on a slight bias Kosher salt 1 recipe¬†mint mojo¬†or¬†Colombian-style aj√≠ Heat oil in skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the plantains in a single layer (the oil should come at least half way up their sides. If not, add more oil). Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until lightly golden brown on first side, about 2 minutes. Cook second side until light golden brown, about 1 minute longer. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until dark golden brown and caramelized, about 4 minutes longer. Serious Eats / Fred Hardy Transfer plantains to paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon or spatula. Flip a few times to drain completely, then season immediately with salt. Serve immediately with Mint Mojo or Aj√≠ on the side. Serious Eats / Fred Hardy Special Equipment 12-inch non-stick or cast iron skillet Notes Ripe plantains will be completely black‚ÄĒalmost to the degree that you think you need to throw them out. Read More Mint Mojo (Puerto Rican-style Garlic Sauce with Mint) Aj√≠ (Colombian-Style Tomato and Onion Salsa)
,Read More,







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