I absolutely love plantains. When you fry them, though, they can suck up a lot of oil. Of course, they taste great when you give them plenty for cooking, but I wanted to see how they’d work if I lightened them up considerably.
A non-stick skillet really helps here. They tend to stick when you first put them in, so you’ll want to watch that. If you’re using something like a cast iron skillet instead you’ll probably need to add a tablespoon or two of oil.
I found that a little spray from a can was enough to start. I sprayed the plantain slices before turning and they didn’t stick. They browned up nicely, too.
Once the skillet is hot they will brown quickly. Three minutes on the first side and 2 on the other was just enough to get them where I like them.
The plantain should be medium-ripe. It will have black spots on it and be soft to the touch. You don’t want to wait until it’s overripe and mushy, but you don’t want to get it too green, either. You can actually cook with plantains at every stage of ripeness, but this recipe works best if you get them like this:
An excellent side dish paired with any Mexican or Caribbean food. Wonderful with black beans or brown rice or just when you want something different for dinner. They’re also great for breakfast! (Is there anything plantains can’t do?)
1 medium-ripe plantain (it should be soft to the touch)
sea salt, to taste
Heat a skillet over medium. Peel the plantain. This can be tricky, but it’s easier when they’re riper. I cut the tip off and then use the knife to start the peeling. Then I can usually run my finger down the cut and the skin will tear open, allowing me to remove the whole plantain without mushing it or breaking it.
Cut into 1/2” slices on the bias.
Spray the skillet and place the plantain slices in it. Cook for 3 minutes. Spray the plantains and flip. Cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the skillet and sprinkle with sea salt.