Today’s recipe is a very simple one, and one that you will remember after just viewing the instructions once. This dish is one that I grew up with living in a Jamaican household, and is known through many West Indian and Latino cultures. The plantain, pronounced [plan-teen] in Jamaica, or platanos among Latinos, is a cousin to the banana. It looks like a very large banana. It can be eaten green or ripened, and is usually cooked either way. The plantain can be cooked in what we call “food”, which is a boiled pot of starchy roots, and dumplings and is usually served with meats and breakfast foods such as ackee or callaloo. It is also made in soups and stews, or many other dishes throughout the Caribbean. Today I am giving you a simple fried green plantain recipe, which is also known as tostones.
I decided to make some tostones (so much easier to say and type) when I remembered I had some leftover Tofu Scramble with Spinach and Hash Browns. I couldn’t eat it all from the day before. And I remembered thinking how juicy the scramble was and how sweet, yet savory, the hash browns were from cooking them in coconut oil. I wanted to add another dynamic to all that deliciousness, and decided on making some tostones to complement the flavors.
In making this dish I began with first cutting the plantain (details below), and then soaking them in salted water. For this step I chose to use the Celtic Light Grey Sea Salt as opposed to fine ground for two reasons. The coarser light grey salt has gone through far less processing and therefore holds more of the nutrients, and it’s also far less costly than the fine ground version. I like to reserve the fine ground for instances where the coarser salt will not have a chance to dissolve and I need more than a dash of it. Because I use this nutritious salt I have no problems in adding as much to my taste is satisfied. I have no problems with blood pressure because I am using natural salts, and not those that have been processed, depleted of nutrients, with added chemicals and isolated minerals. Sea salt should have color and moisture. If it is white and dry, then it’s just processed salt with a sea salt name… but I digress.
After soaking, I fried the plantains in coconut oil on all sides and then removed them from the pan and smashed them between wax paper using a can.
Then I sprinkled with the fine ground sea salt and continued to fry until done. This simple dish can be eaten with a large variety of foods throughout the day or as a snack, but is very much favored as a breakfast food. I hope you enjoy!!
Fried Green Plantains (Tostones)
- 1 green unripened plantain
- Water to soak
- 1 tsp sea salt (preferably coarse)
- 3-5 tbsps coconut oil, or oil of choice
- Sea salt to taste
- Using a paring knife, cut both ends of the plantain and discard ends.
- Cut the skin of the plantain lengthwise and remove the skin and discard. The skin on the unripened plantain will be very firm.
- Chop the plantain into 1″ to 1-1/2″ pieces, about 8 pieces depending on the length.
- Put enough water in a bowl to cover plantains; add about 1 tsp of sea salt. If using coarse sea salt, thoroughly mix until dissolved. Add plantains and soak for about 5 minutes. (Note: If increasing the number of plantains, the amount of sea salt does not need to be doubled or tripled to equal the number of plantains. Just add enough to salt the water.)
- Heat pan on medium high heat; add oil. (Note: If using an oil other than Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO), less may be used as EVCO tends to soak into whatever it is you are cooking. However, more may be used to cover plantains, if desired, which would decrease frying time. The amount given is to fry in shallow oil.)
- Remove plantains from water, and drain. You may pat dry with a towel to prevent popping in the oil, if desired.
- When oil is hot, add the plantains to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on both sides. If plantains are a bit large in shallow oil, you may cook the sides as well for a minute each.
- Remove plantains from pan. Put plantain between wax paper, and crush with a can until flattened.
- Add plantains back to pan, sprinkle with sea salt to taste, one or both sides. Fry on each side for 1 minute.
- Remove from pan and serve immediately. If using EVCO, there is no need to remove any excess oil.