Plantain is easy to fry with regular cooking oil or olive oil, but sometimes frying plantain can be a nightmare for first timers
Frying plantain is one of the first cooking skills I learn as a kid just by watching my mum. Because I learnt this skill at a young age, I thought it should be easy for anyone to learn how to fry plantain until I saw some failed fried plantain memes on the internet; frying plantain might not be that easy after all.
Fried plantain is a popular side dish in African, Caribbean and some parts of Asian countries; as a tropical plant, it is not common in Europe.
Plantain is referred to as ‘’Dodo’’ in Nigeria, which simply means fried plantain. Fried plantain can also be combined with other dishes or served with dips.
What is the difference between plantain and banana?
The term “plantain” is loosely applied to any banana cultivar that is usually cooked before it is eaten. However, there is no botanical distinction between bananas and plantains. Cooking is also a matter of custom, rather than necessity, for many bananas.
Plantain may be eaten ripe or unripe and are generally starchy while banana is best eaten when it’s ripe. In conclusion, plantain is a type of banana which can be boiled, fried or roasted while regular banana does not require any cooking.
To fry plantain, you only need about 100mls of olive oil or any other type of cooking oil. You might have seen some fried plantain recipe with salt as one of the ingredients, but you don’t have to add salt in fried plantain if it is ripe. You will know if a plantain is ripe when it’s all yellow without having any green spots on the skin.
Unripe plantain can also be fried, it may feel a little bit harder and dry and will need salt to taste. This is the type of plantain used for making plantain chips.
What can you serve with fried plantain?
The most common way of serving fried plantain is having it as a side in rice dishes or with Nigerian beans porridge. However, you can have fried plantain with just your dips as a starter or snack. Fried plantain can also be combined with loads of other dishes like beans porridge, fried or scrambled eggs or with vegetables and salads.
- Cut the plantain into preferred shape. Plantain can be cut into round, slanted or cubed shapes.
- Add 100mls of cooking oil in a non-sticky frying pan and let it heat up for about 2mins on high heat.
- Toss plantain in and fry on both sides for 3mins each.
- Place the fried plantain on a plate with paper towel to get the excess oil out. You can also sprinkle some salt on it at this point.
- Serve as a side or with rice and beans dishes.
Utensils and tools
Frequently asked questions
Why does plantain get burnt while frying?
Fried plantain can get burnt if the oil is too hot or if left for too long to fry on one side. This happens mostly when you’re frying different portions, meaning that the oil is already too hot for the next set.
If you’re frying more than one portion of plantain, you can reduce the heat to medium before tossing in the next set. Another reason why plantain get burnt easily is using oil which has already been used to fry something else.
Why is fried plantain not cooked in the middle?
If the oil is too hot, the plantain fries so quickly on both sides making it look like its properly cooked. Because the plantain hasn’t stayed longer on both sides, it leaves it uncooked in the middle.
Its takes about 4 minutes to fry plantain on both sides, if its not up to 3mins and its already getting burnt, this means that the oil is too hot or the oil isn’t fresh.
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