Fried Plantains

Fried plantains are a must at my house. We eat a lot of Mexican and Cuban dishes. Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of paleo side dish options that pair well with those flavors. That’s why fried plantains are such a big part of our diet.

My wife, Carolina, grew up in Miami. I grew up in Guatemala. Plantains are big parts of diets in both of those areas, so we’ve grown rather accustomed to eating them. But for the uninitiated, these banana-like beasts can be rather intimidating. So let me share with you how to choose plantains, how to cut them, and how to prepare them. It’s easy, fun, and paleo perfect!

Choosing Ripe Plantains for Frying

What makes a banana look unappetizing and overripe, is what makes a plantain delicious. To get the best flavor and moisture out of fried plantains, you should look for plantains transitioning from yellow to black. The ones below are an example of the minimal ripeness you want so they’re sweet and soft. You can go with almost completely black plantains and they’ll still be delicious.

Plus, it’s much easier to peel the plantain when it’s very ripe.

I count on cooking about one plantain per person. The riper they are, the quicker people eat them after they’re cooked.

How to Choose Ripe Plantains for Frying Them

Cutting Plantains for Frying

I do three major cuts to make peeling plantains easy. Then I do a few simple slices to prepare them for frying.

First, cut off the edges of the plantain. Then create a small slice down the length of the plantain, just deep enough to cut through the skin. Once that’s done, you can easily peel off the skin. Then I slice the plantain from an inch to two inches thick (depending on my whims for the day).

How to Cut Plantains for Frying Them

Cooking Fried Plantains (The Paleo Way)

To fry the plantains, I heat a skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, I glob a spoonful of coconut oil into the pan. I make sure the entire bottom of the skillet is covered with coconut oil so the plantains don’t stick (ripe plantains can stick very easily). I drop the plantains into the pan and add a pinch of salt over each set of plantains.

Rotate them gently and often. You want to caramelize them until they’re browned; you don’t want to burn them. Once you have a pretty good color all around, they’re ready to be served. Enjoy!