One of my all time favourite things is fried plantains. I get so excited just thinking about it! Its one of the many things that still keeps me connected to my Panamian roots. I’m not quite sure exactly what it is about ordinary, starchy, unripe bananas that make me go berserk. Perhaps its the slight sweetness of the yellow flesh, or the soft pillowy texture that conjure memories of warm weather and coconuts. I was a little girl roaming around eating lots of bananas and now a grown adult doing the same thing!
Now, what are plantains for those who don’t know?
Plantain is a banana that is firmer and lower in sugar content than regular, every day “dessert” bananas. Plantains are a staple food in the tropical regions of the world, and are treated in much the same way as potatoes. The starch as well as the similar neutral flavor and texture allows for them to be steamed, boiled or fried. I love them fried, fried, fried! Yummy!
Typically I try hard to resist them. I work hard at passing by them at the grocery store but they just call out my name. I’m unable to resist and refrain from grabbing more than one. Ok, sometimes I allow two. I let them sit on the kitchen counter to ripen for a day or two before I peel apart the hard peel and slice in diagonal slices. I slip the thinly sliced pieces into hot oil and watch the bubbles work its magical powers. I thin layer of oil is all you need. Make sure it is hot before slipping plantains in the oil, otherwise it sucks up too much and becomes slightly mushy. I fry them until they’re golden brown and drain on a paper towel. Mmmmmm, what a guilty pleasure it is to bite into hot, crispy, sweet plantains!