We love plantains. Yes we do. We love plantains. And so will you! But what the heck are plantains? The plantain is a green cousin to the banana, but a plantain can't be eaten raw - you have to fix it up in some way. Cooked green plantains are starchy and similar to potatoes; cooked ripe plantains are sweet and taste like bananas. Yum! Plantains are popular in tropical countries throughout Latin America and Africa. They are available in grocery stores in many areas of the United States, particularly where there are large Hispanic populations. You can also buy bags of plantain chips. Here are some recipes for plantains.


(Ripe Plantains - sweet ones) These are my favorite kinds of plantains - very yummy as a side dish or even as a dessert with ice cream. Thanks to Luz (FL) for this recipe!

Plantain very ripe and soft (the skin of the plantain should be almost black)
Cooking oil (any kind)
You take the ripe plantain and cut them on a bias (or slant), put them in the oil (med. high) and take them out in about 3 to 4 minutes or till you see them golden brown.
When you take them out, place them on a paper towel to soak out the oil.
** Remember: If you want to ripen the plantain faster. Put the plantain in a brown paper bag and close it, till it ripens.


(Fried Green Plantains) These are similar to thick potato chips or hash browns - maybe not. They're great anyways. Thanks again to Luz!

Green plantain
Cooking Oil (any kind)

Cut the plantain about 1" thick, a straight cut. Bring oil to a medium high heat. Put the cut plantains in the oil and let them cook for about 2 or 2 1/2 minutes. Test for fork tenderness, if the fork goes through then its ready to take out of the oil. Remove from oil and place them on top of a paper towel and while they are hot flatten them out (Bamm!) on a brown paper bag covering both sides of the plantain. Now you are ready to refry them for about 2 or 3 minutes till they are golden brown. They should be no more than 1/8 inch thick. Add salt to taste.


This is a sweet and spicy African plantain dish which I had at Taste of Chicago in the summer of 2001.

3 lbs. (6 large) plantains
1 tsp. powdered ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
2 tbs. water
3 cups oil or vegetable shortening
Wash and peel plantains or bananas and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices. Mix ginger, salt and red pepper with water. Drop plantains slices into mixture and stir around with fingers then place in hot oil and deep fry until golden brown. Serves six.


This recipe, along with the next, is from the book "A Taste of Cuba" by Linette Creen. No, I've never made plantain soup, but it sounds interesting.

1 T. butter
3 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced diagonally into 1 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups water
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the plantains, flat side down, and saute them until lightly browned on both sides and tender in the middle.

Transfer the plantains to the workbowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Add 1 cup of the water and transfer to a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk in the remaining 3 cups of water. Add the lemon juice and place over medium-high heat until the soup reaches a low boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.


From the "Miami Spice" cookbook, which states, "The long strands of grated plantain look a little like the legs of a spider, whence the fritter's curious name.

2 large green plantains
1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, peeled
6 cloves garlic, minced
About 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Peel the plantains and grate on the course side of a hand grater or in a food processor fitted with the julienne disk. Cut the ginger into the thinnest possible slivers. Combine the plantain, ginger and garlic in a mixing bowl and toss with 2 spoons to mix. Just before serving, pour oil to a depth of at least 1 inch in a small frying pan or electric skillet, and heat to 350F. Using 2 spoons or your fingertips, form 1-inch balls of the plantain mixture and lower them into the oil. Don't pack the plantain shreds too tightly; the fritters should look spiky and lacy. Fry the spiders, turning with a skimmer or a slotted spoon, until golden brown, about 2 minutes total. Work in several batches, so as not to crowd the pan. Transfer the fritters to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve at once.


(Mashed green plantains) All together now: Little Bunny Fufu, walkin' through the forest, scoopin' up the field mice, pop 'em on the head. Down came the blue fairy, and she said: Enjoy these plantains!

5 small green plantains
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the plantains in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the plantains, cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer 30 minutes until the plantains are tender.

Drain in a colander and let the plantains cool enough to handle. Peel the plantains and place in a large mixing bowl. Chop the plantains into small pieces, then mash with a potato masher.

Add the butter and mix well. Add the milk, and salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is dry, moisten slightly with warm milk and butter if you wish (I don't.) Serve warm.


This recipe is courtesy of The Latin Quarter Restaurant, 2000, and was suggested by Amy (CA). I put it here because it uses plantain chips! Now if I could just FIND the darn things...

1 pound weakfish, medium diced
1 pound shrimp, raw, medium diced
1/2 ounces lemon juice
1/2 ounces lime juice
1/2 ounces orange juice
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/4 cup jalapenos, small dice
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced into thin rounds and steamed
2 jalapenos, sliced into rounds
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Cilantro sprigs
Romaine lettuce leaves
3-inch long plantain chips

Mix together all ingredients except for romaine lettuce leaves, plantain chips, sweet potatoes, jalapenos, lime and lemon wedges and cilantro sprigs, in a bowl and marinate for 24 hours. Spoon ceviche into martini glasses. Place sweet potatoes on a plate. Place martini glass on plate with sweet potatoes. Place 1 slice of jalapeno, lime and lemon wedge on the sweet potatoes and garnish with a sprig of cilantro. Place romaine leaf and plantain chip in the ceviche.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 24 hours

Back to the Recipes Homepage

Back Home