How to Cook Ripe Plantains or Platanos Maduros
Plantains or "platanos"
Plantains are a popular dish in the Dominican Republic; that's where my family is from. It is also popular in many tropical climates, such as, parts of Asia and the Caribbean. Plantains are naturally gluten-free. They are also starchier than, but not as sweet as the rest of the banana family. Unlike the banana, they are prepared like vegetables.
Their use in the cooking world is comparable to the use of a potato or when ripe, to that of a sweet potato. If the plantain is still green you can make "tostones"(fried plantains), "mofongo"(mashed plantains), or chop it and put it in a soup or bean stew. The plantain is usually fried, baked, or boiled and because of their shape, they are usually sliced into thin or thick chips.
The ripened plantain or "platano maduro"
The Plantain starts out green then turns yellow-black. As it turns yellow, it becomes sweeter and is called a "platano maduro" or ripened plantain. The sweet plantain would not make a good addition to a smoothie, since it is bitter and doesn't taste good in it's raw form.
In my family, we usually had it as a side dish on the weekends. A popular breakfast in our house was eggs, thick cut ham, sauteed onions and "platanos maduros". The fried "platanos maduros" are crispy on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside. It is delicious!
It's one of those dishes that always reminds me of home. It brings balance to salty meals. These sweet plantains go great with: rice and beans, ham and eggs, or pernil (pork roast) and veggies. One doesn't need much oil and can use coconut oil to make the recipe healthier. They are really easy to make and the ingredients are simple. From my family to yours, enjoy!
- 1 ripe plantain or platano maduro
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, can use olive oil, butter, or vegetable oil
- Peel and then cut the plantain diagonally, or cut while still unpeeled and then peel individual slices.
- Add the oil to the pan and wait until the oil is hot enough to make a tiny piece of plantain sizzle.
- Add and arrange the plantains so that they are not touching each other.
- Cook until the plantains are golden brown on each side.