How To Make Crispy Fried Plantains

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By Christopher Spiker

Imagine biting into a perfectly golden, crisply fried plantain—warm, sweet, and slightly salty, with a satisfying crunch that makes each mouthful a delight. In “How To Make Crispy Fried Plantains,” you’ll discover the simple, yet essential, steps to transform ordinary plantains into a delectable snack or side dish. Whether you’re a kitchen novice or a seasoned cook, this friendly guide will help you achieve plantain perfection every time, bringing a taste of the tropics to your home. Have you ever bitten into a crispy fried plantain and wondered how to replicate that deliciousness at home? You’re in luck! This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about making the perfect crispy fried plantains from selecting the right plantains to achieving that ideal golden-brown crunch.

Understanding Plantains

Before diving into the cooking process, it’s essential to understand what plantains are and why they make for such an enjoyable snack or side dish.

What Are Plantains?

Plantains are a member of the banana family but are starchier and less sweet. Unlike regular bananas, they are typically cooked before being eaten, making them versatile ingredients in many savory and sweet dishes. They’re widely used in African, Caribbean, and Latin American cuisines.

How to Choose the Right Plantains

Depending on the type of dish you’re making, the ripeness of the plantain matters. For crispy fried plantains, you’ll generally want them to be somewhere between just-ripened to moderately ripe. Here’s a quick guide to help you pick the perfect plantains:

Ripeness Stage Description Best For
Green Starchy and firm Chips and savory dishes
Yellow Slightly sweet with firm texture Fried plantains, tostones, side dishes
Black Very sweet and soft Desserts, sweet fried plantains

Preparing Your Plantains

Once you’ve selected the ideal plantains, the next step is to prepare them properly for frying.

Peeling Plantains

Peeling plantains is a bit different from peeling regular bananas, especially if they’re green or just-ripened. Here’s a step-by-step guide to make it easier:

  1. Cut off the ends: Use a sharp knife to remove both ends of the plantain.
  2. Score the skin: Make a shallow cut along the length of the plantain.
  3. Peel away the skin: Use your fingers or a knife to lift the skin away from the flesh, starting at the cut.

Cutting Plantains

The way you cut your plantains will affect their cooking time and texture. The most common cuts are:

  • Rounds: Cut the plantain into half-inch thick slices. This is the most common cut for frying.
  • Lengthwise slices: Cut the plantain in half and then slice each half into thin strips. This method is often used for decorative presentations or for making plantain ‘fries.’

How To Make Crispy Fried Plantains

Frying Process

Now that your plantains are prepped, it’s time to get frying.

Essential Ingredients

To make crispy fried plantains, you’ll need:

  1. Plantains (as prepared above)
  2. Oil (vegetable, canola, or peanut oil works best)
  3. Salt (for seasoning)
  4. Optional: Seasonings like garlic powder, paprika, or a dash of sugar for added flavor.


Ensure you have the following equipment ready:

  • Deep Frying Pan/Saucepan: To fry the plantains.
  • Slotted Spoon: For easy removal of plantains from the oil.
  • Paper Towels: To drain excess oil.
  • Thermometer: To get the oil temperature just right.

Step-by-Step Frying Instructions

  1. Heat the Oil: Pour enough oil into the frying pan to cover the plantain slices completely. Heat the oil to around 350°F (175°C). Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  2. Test the Oil: Drop a small piece of plantain into the oil. If it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready.
  3. Fry the Plantains: Carefully place the plantain slices into the hot oil. Avoid overcrowding the pan to ensure even frying.
  4. Turn the Slices: Fry the plantains for about 2-3 minutes until they turn golden brown. Flip them halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  5. Remove and Drain: Use your slotted spoon to remove the plantains from the oil. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
  6. Season: Sprinkle the fried plantains with salt or your preferred seasoning while they are still hot.

Tips for Perfect Crispiness

Achieving that perfect crispy texture can take some practice. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Keep the Oil Hot: Make sure the oil stays consistently hot throughout the frying process. If the oil temperature drops, the plantains will absorb more oil and become soggy.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Fry the plantains in batches if necessary. Overcrowding lowers the oil temperature and affects the frying process.
  • Dry Before Frying: If you wash the plantains after peeling, make sure they are completely dry before frying to avoid oil splatters.

Serving Suggestions

Crispy fried plantains are versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways.

As a Snack

Fried plantains make an excellent snack on their own. Pair them with a dipping sauce like garlic aioli, spicy mayo, or even a tangy tamarind chutney.

As a Side Dish

You can serve crispy fried plantains as a side dish alongside your favorite meals. They go well with grilled meats, rice, beans, and salads.

Sweet Variations

If you prefer a sweeter version, try sprinkling the fried plantains with cinnamon sugar or drizzling them with honey.

How To Make Crispy Fried Plantains

Storing and Reheating

While crispy fried plantains are best enjoyed fresh, you can store leftovers and reheat them for later enjoyment.

How to Store

Place any leftover plantains in an airtight container and refrigerate. They will keep for about 2-3 days.

Reheating Instructions

To reheat and maintain the crispiness, avoid using the microwave. Instead:

  1. Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the plantains on a baking sheet and heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Stovetop Method: Heat a small amount of oil in a pan on medium heat. Re-fry the plantains for about 1-2 minutes on each side until hot and crispy.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Even though frying plantains is straightforward, a few common mistakes can lead to less-than-perfect results.

Using Under-Ripe or Overripe Plantains

As mentioned earlier, the ripeness of the plantain significantly affects the texture and taste of the final product. Aim for plantains that are yellow—with or without a few black spots—for the best results.

Not Maintaining Oil Temperature

Constantly monitor the oil temperature using a thermometer. Too hot, and the plantains will burn; too cold, and they will absorb too much oil.

Forgetting to Season

Adding a touch of salt or your favorite seasoning while the plantains are still hot can elevate the flavor significantly. Don’t skip this step!

How To Make Crispy Fried Plantains

Nutritional Value

While delicious, it’s always good to know the nutritional value of what you’re eating.

Nutrient Value (per 100g of Fried Plantain)
Calories 122
Carbohydrates 31g
Proteins 1g
Fat 0g
(will increase depending on oil absorption)
Fiber 2g
Vitamin A 1127 IU
Vitamin C 18mg
Potassium 499mg

Health Tips

While crispy fried plantains can be part of a balanced diet, remember that they are fried food and should be consumed in moderation. Consider pairing with a fresh salad or lean protein to balance your meal.

Alternative Cooking Methods

If you love plantains but want a healthier option, consider these alternative cooking methods:

  • Baking: Toss plantain slices in a small amount of oil and bake at 400°F (200°C) for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Air Frying: An air fryer can give you a similar crispy texture with less oil. Prepare at 375°F (190°C) for about 15 minutes.

How To Make Crispy Fried Plantains

Exploring Other Plantain Dishes

Now that you’re a pro at making crispy fried plantains, why not explore other ways to enjoy this versatile ingredient?

Tostones (Twice-Fried Green Plantains)

Tostones are a popular dish made from green plantains. They are first fried, then smashed into flat discs, and fried again for extra crispiness. Serve with a garlic dipping sauce for an irresistible treat.

Maduros (Sweet Fried Plantains)

If you have black (very ripe) plantains, you can make maduros. These are sweet and soft on the inside, with a caramelized exterior. They pair wonderfully with savory dishes or can be a dessert on their own.

Plantain Chips

Thinly sliced green plantains make perfect chips. Fry them until crispy and golden, then season with salt or your favorite spice blend.

Plantain Empanadas

Use mashed plantains to create a dough, which you can fill with savory ingredients like meat, cheese, or vegetables. Fry or bake until the empanadas are golden and delicious.

Plantain Fufu

In many African cuisines, plantains are boiled and mashed to create fufu, a starchy side dish that pairs well with soups and stews.


Making crispy fried plantains is easier than you think! By selecting the right plantains, following proper preparation and frying techniques, and experimenting with seasoning and serving options, you can enjoy this tasty treat any day of the week. Whether you’re enjoying them as a snack, a side dish, or part of a larger meal, crispy fried plantains are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

So why wait? Grab your plantains and start frying! You’re bound to impress your family and friends with this delightful and versatile dish. Happy cooking!

How To Make Crispy Fried Plantains