Tostones

published Apr 23, 2024
Tostones Recipe

Caution: These crispy fried plantains are extremely delicious.

Serves2 to 3

Prep5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 25 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Plate of fried plantain tostones with two dipping sauces.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

If you want to feel like you’re enjoying a snack somewhere in Puerto Rico, then you have to make these tostones. The fried green plantains are a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine and will remind you of being on this incredibly beautiful island. Whenever I’m feeling especially nostalgic and homesick, I’ll make tostones to enjoy as a snack or a side — they always comfort me and fill me up. 

The amazing part is they’re done in about 20 minutes from start to finish, and the recipe requires minimal ingredients that you likely have in your pantry already. But I promise you they’ll disappear fast, especially since snacking on a few is bound to happen as they’re frying! 

Why You’ll Love It

  • My recipe includes a helpful tip that makes peeling the plantains even easier. Just slide the back of a spoon gently under the peel to lift it up; from there, it should release easily.
  • One of the key tricks I’ve learned over the years is to season earlier in the cooking process for a tastier toston. Here, I season water with salt and garlic powder for dunking the tostones in before the final fry. 
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

Key Ingredients in Tostones

  • Green plantains. The greener the better. Stay away from yellow, which is a sign that you’re tapping into the sweeter side of plantains. For tostones, the fewer the blemishes, the better.
  • Frying oil. You want to use a high heat oil that won’t burn for frying tostones, such as canola, vegetable, and avocado (my personal preference).

How to Make Tostones

  1. Prep your plantains. Peel and cut into 1-inch thick rounds.
  2. First fry. Let the plantain rounds cook in the oil until they reach a golden-yellow color on all sides; avoid any browning. 
  3. Smash your plantains. I call for using a tostonera to smash the plantains for a more uniform shape. If you don’t have one, you can use the bottom of a greased drinking glass or plate. 
  4. Final fry. Dunk tostones in seasoned water, then cook in oil for at least 2 to 3 minutes. This ensures a crispy edge, yet soft interior. Similar to the first fry, avoid any browning.
  5. Season your tostones. Season with flaky or kosher salt.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

Helpful Swaps

  • The recipe calls for seasoning the water, but if you prefer to skip that step for any reason, just season with garlic powder and salt at the end.
  • You have the option of making sauces to serve alongside for dipping. Here are two classics to choose from:
    • Mayoketchup: Mix together 1 tablespoon each of mayo, ketchup, and white vinegar, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. 
    • Garlic mojo/mojito: In a mortar and pestle or pilon, mash 3 garlic cloves and a pinch of salt into a paste. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Mix and serve.

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips 

Tostones are best served and eaten freshly made. However, if you don’t think you’ll eat the entire batch, complete the first fry, let some cool, and then freeze. When ready to fry, let thaw for at least 30 minutes, then complete the final fry.

What to Serve With Tostones

Tostones Recipe

Caution: These crispy fried plantains are extremely delicious.

Prep time 5 minutes to 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Serves 2 to 3

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2

    large green (unripe) plantains

  • 2 cups

    water

  • 1 tablespoons

    garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 cups

    avocado, vegetable, or canola oil

  • flaky salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut about 1 inch off of each end of 2 large green plantains. Peel the plantains: If peeling is too difficult, slide the back of a spoon gently under the peel to lift it up. It should release fairly easily. Cut the flesh crosswise into 1-inch thick rounds.

  2. Place 2 cups water,1 tablespoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Stir until the salt is dissolved.

  3. Heat 2 cups avocado oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add all the plantains and fry, flipping occasionally, until evenly golden yellow, 3 to 5 minutes total. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate in a single layer. Turn the heat off.

  4. Place a piece of plantain on a flat surface. Use a tostonera or the bottom of a greased drinking glass or plate to smash it until evenly flattened and about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat until all the rounds are smashed.

  5. Turn the heat back on to medium and heat until the oil is shimmering. Fry again in batches of 5 to 6: Dunk 1 toston in the salt water, let the toston drip over the bowl for a few seconds, and carefully place in the hot oil away from you. Fry, flipping halfway through, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes total. Return to the paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess oil. Season with a pinch of kosher salt or flaky salt if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Tostones are best eaten fresh, but leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.