As Angel Ferreras from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, taught Lindsay Sterling in Freeport, Maine.
Note: Fried green plantains (tostones) taste similar to French fries. "Green" refers to the color of the skin when the plantains are unripe -- just like an unripe banana. The flesh is light colored like a banana. In the Dominican Republic, a lunch plate of meat, rice and beans, and fried green plantains, is a classic meal called La bandera. In Spanish, "la bandera" means "the flag," which is to say that the meal is ubiquitous and as Dominican as the flag itself.
Makes: 4 servings as a side
Cooking time: 30 min
- 3-4 green plantains
- about 2 cups vegetable oil
1. Peel the skins off the plantains and cut the fruit into 1-inch segments (see video above).
2. In a large saute pan, add enough vegetable oil so that it's 1/2 inch deep, and turn heat on medium. Line a large plate or tray with a layer of paper towel.
3. When the oil is hot, fry batches of the plantains on the flat sides for about 5 minutes until the pale yellow color turns darker yellow, but not brown. (You should see little bubbles coming up around the plantains. If you don't, your oil isn't hot enough. If the oil is smoking, it's too hot) Flip the plantains over and fry the other sides until they turn a darker shade of yellow. Put them on the plate or tray lined with a layer of paper towel. Then smash each piece (flat side down) with the bottom of a glass or a little press called a tostonera so the plantains are flattened into discs.
4. Fry the discs until bubbles slow down. Remove from oil and place on the paper-towel-lined tray to dry. Sprinkle with salt and serve.