Super easy to make, patacones (pah-tah-coh’-nays) – also known as tostones – are a diet mainstay in Latin America. Before I ever actually tried one, I was hesitant to eat them figuring they’d be sweet. A sweet scoop for guacamole or ceviche? Ick. But they’re not sweet at all because they’re made with unripe, green plantains. Once I actually tried them, I was hooked. Now they’re my preferred scoop over tortilla chips.
Patacones – Fried Green Plantain Chips
- 2 green plantains
- vegetable oil enough for about 1 inch in your skillet
- sprinkle sea salt or kosher salt
- Use a skillet large enough to hold about 20 rounds of sliced plantain and add the oil to about 1 inch deep. Start heating the oil over medium heat to around 325°
- Cut off the tips of the plantains and discard.
- Slice the peel of the plantain along the 3 raised ridges, taking care not to slice into the pulp too far.
- Because the plantain is not ripe, it won't easily separate from the pulp, so using the flesh of your thumb (not your nails), at one end of the plantain, use the flesh of your thumb to separate the slices along the length of the cuts.
- Peel the rind from the pulp in strips and discard them.
- Slice the plantains into 1-inch rounds and place them in the hot oil flat side down (and up!). I use tongs to do this.
- Fry the plantains for about 3 minutes. If your oil doesn't cover the plaintains completely, turn them over and fry for about 1 minute more.
- Remove the plantains from the pan and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Remove the pan from the burner or turn off the heat so it doesn't burn while you do the next step.
- Smash the plantain pieces to about 1/4 inch using a plate, pan, tortilla press, or anything else that works. Use a rubber spatula to separate them if they stick. I use the bottom of a large coffee mug 😉
- Heat up the oil again, but this time a little hotter, about 375°. Add the smashed plantains and fry for about 5 minutes more or until they just start to brown around the edges.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve warm or room temp.