Tostones

published Feb 9, 2022
Tostones Recipe

This mouth-watering recipe only requires two ingredients.

Makesabout 25 tostones

Prep10 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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Tostones -  twice-fried plantain slices commonly found in Latin American cuisine and Caribbean cuisine
Credit: Laura Manzano

It’s hard to beat a two-ingredient recipe — especially when that recipe results in a crispy, salty, starchy treat. The plantain, a close cousin to the standard Cavendish banana, is a staple in Latin American and Caribbean cooking. In this recipe, green plantains are fried, smashed, and fried again for a simple-yet-satisfying dish that’s a classic for many.

Green Plantains vs. Yellow Plantains

The miraculous thing about a plantain is it takes on a completely different texture and flavor depending on its level of ripeness. 

  • Green plantains: A green plantain, freshly picked, is quite firm and difficult to peel. The trick is scoring the skin on three different sides, and peeling away strips of the skin one by one. Green plantains can be fried to make tostones, smashed with fried pork skin to make mofongo, cut up and added to stews, ground to be folded between banana leaves to make pasteles, and much more.
  • Yellow plaintains: As plantains age, they grow yellow and dark in spots. Plantains at this stage are sweet and sort of sticky — perfect for frying to make maduros, a name that literally translates to “mature.”

The Secret to Great Tostones

Be sure to fry the plantain pieces long enough in the first stage. If you find that they are crumbling apart when you flatten them, it’s because the plantain is still slightly raw and needs to cook longer in order to soften. And, like with any fried foods, be sure to season with salt immediately — and even a squeeze of lime!

Credit: Laura Manzano

Tostones Recipe

This mouth-watering recipe only requires two ingredients.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Makes about 25 tostones

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 5

    green plantains (about 8 ounces each)

  • 2 cups

    canola or vegetable oil

  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Peel 5 green plantains: Cut 3 slits down the length of each plantain on 3 different sides. Wearing gloves, remove the peel with your hands. (Green plantain peels will leave a dark residue on your hands.) Cut each plantain crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces.

  2. Heat 2 cups canola or vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers and ripples slightly. (The oil should come 1/2-inch up the sides of the skillet.) Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, add the plantains and fry until lightly golden-brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Turn off the heat.

  3. Using the bottom of a sturdy glass, or a tostonera if you have one, lightly flatten each plantain until about 1/2-inch thick.

  4. Reheat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches again, add the flattened plantains and fry until deeply golden-brown and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle immediately and generously with salt.