Prepping & Cooking Perfect Fried Plantains


So you are back to see how authentic African plantains are made. Before we go any further, I would like to re-iterate that this is the authentic way that plantains are made and served throughout West Africa. There will be oil and deep frying. You may say to yourself, “I did not click on this post to see burnt food” but I assure you, they are not burnt. This is the way that they taste the best. Without further ado…how to make perfect plantains.

How To Pick Them

You go into the supermarket to buy bananas. If you prefer your bananas a little underripe, like me, you look for the green ones so that they won’t go all spotty before they make it to the fruit bowl. Forget that here. If you want to cook same day, then you would pick ones like these from the jump. If not, wait until they get this way.

Plaintains

Preparation

Cut off the edges and make a slice down one side to split the peel and remove the entire plantain in one shot.

Then you start slicing them up. There are many ways to slice them.

I like them a bit oblong because style and food are not mutually exclusive. You can make things easy and quickly slice them in rounds. There is also the option of slicing them as strips in a long rectangular type of configuration.

Plantains2

Plantains1

Cooking The Plantains

You will need about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of oil for frying.  If you have an issue with that, you can just coat the bottom of the pan but you won’t get as rich a result; about 3-4 tbsps.

A heavy-bottomed saucepan about 2 inches deep is fine . Ideally, you would have the oil heating while you are slicing but you can always heat the oil once they are sliced to have more control.

To test your oil take literally a drop and see if it starts to sizzle. If so, they are ready to receive your plantains. The oil should cover the plantains. Monitor them as the cook very quickly. Continually check to see if they have reached the desired “doneness” and flip to cook the other side. Be careful as the oil may spit bit during the flipping process.

 Picture 005

Plantains4

Once they are well-browned start transferring them to a plate prepared with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. When you are transferring them, make sure to separate them well so that they do not stick together. Also pat them so they are dried off from the oil.

Plantains5

Allow the plantains to cool off as they will be very hot. As they were deep fried, they will come out darker than if you simply coat the bottom of the pan. We like ours on the done side but you can just pluck them out sooner, if you desire.

Plaintains6

For a real treat, cut up about a half an onion and throw them in with the plantains. If you reuse frying oil, it will help to cut the scent of whatever was fried in it previously. It really starts to bring this dish up to meal status.

Plantains2-3

PlanOn1

Once they have cooled down and are safe to eat there are a myriad of options available. You can dust them with some salt, we suggest Himalayan pink salt or Kosher. We highly suggest having some hot sauce on the side for dipping. It will change your life. A vinegar-free hot sauce, like ALIMA’S African pepper sauce, is best to have a truly authentic experience. West African pepper sauces don’t generally contain vinegar also it’s just way tastier without the vinegar bossing the flavours around your palette.

RECAP

PICK three (or more)  overripe plaintains that are deep yellow and black.

SLICE them and cut them into rounds or strips.

HEAT 1/2 – 3/4 cup of oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan

WATCH until edges start to brown and check.

FLIP and allow for other side to cook until golden brown or to desired doneness.

TRANSFER to plate covered in paper towel and allow to cool.

SERVE dusted with a bit salt or hot sauce on the side for dipping.

Served up with some sardines in tomato sauce and Alima's African pepper sauce for dipping. For incurable chillihead, a scotch bonnet for munching with the meal.

Served up with some sardines in tomato sauce and ALIMA’S African pepper sauce for dipping. For incurable chilliheads, a scotch bonnet for munching with the meal.

BON APPETIT!

Mama FlavourFull

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Comments
2 Responses to “Prepping & Cooking Perfect Fried Plantains”
  1. This looks delicious! I keep meaning to experiment with plantains and this looks like a simple and tasty way to start!

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