Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cooking Platanos Maduros (Fried Ripe Plantains)

Plantains, Ripe and Soft

When plantains are this ripe, the sugars caramelize when cooked and they are very sweet. Click here for nutritional information (They are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium.) and here for cooking tutorial on green plantains.

To prepare, cut off each end of the plantain, and make a thin cut down the length. The peel will remove easily.

Slice them on the diagonal.

Heat about half an inch of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the platanos. If the oil is not hot enough, the platanos will stick to the pan.

Turn occasionally, until they begin to brown. They will be very soft until they "skin over" in the hot oil, so use tongs.

Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels.

These make a terrific side dish to black beans and rice, and pork.

Here's serving them with my dinner... The pork is just leftover roast pork tenderloin, and the black beans are topped with chopped onion. (Sorry the photos are poor; I first posted this on the Recipe Forum at and lost my original photos when my hard drive crashed.) 

An optional traditional topping for the black beans is finely chopped hard boiled egg. The pork should have a slice of lime to squeeze on it but I'm out of lime. The lime really perks up the taste. YUM!


  1. Hi Darius,
    I like your blog very much - as I do plantains (make mine ripe, thank you!). I've spent a good deal of time today reading many of your posts - you are a gifted writer and I share many of your interests - and one of those is lacto fermented veggies. That in fact was the issue which first led me here. And if I may break away from the subject of your post a moment, I'd like to ask you, as a seasoned fermenter, a question.

    I know that one only needs to use salt to get a good ferment, but I took the safe route and made up some yogurt whey, so my results would be better. Now that I'm ready to make some more, I'm out of whey and if I make more yogurt whey, I'll have more yogurt cheese than I need in the fridge! Is there any reason why I can't use some of the last successful fermenting session in making up a new batch of brine? (sort of the way one "renews" a sourdough starter)

    Right now I've got some green beans under brine and some garlic cloves - I thought the garlic might be like the sour pickles I made last week, but no, they're just like regular garlic! Hard, crisp, and full of hot, sharp garlic taste. Have you ever fermented garlic? Does one use it just like the fresh garlic? I'm leaving it out in hopes maybe it just needs more time to pickle.

    Keep doing your interesting posts, Darius - I'm sure there are many readers who appreciate them as much as I do - but I think most folks don't comment much - a shame!

  2. Thanks for the compliments!

    From what I have read, you can use some of the juice from previous batches in a new ferment, assuming the flavors agree. I keep a jar of whey in the refrigerator; it lasts a long time and a ferment batch doesn't take much.

    I have never fermented garlic, so I'm no help there. Sorry.


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