I don’t like searching for recipes on blog posts, so here it is! Scroll below for my story and more information.
The perfect side to any hispanic meal.
- green unripe plantains (up to 1 per person)
- frying oil
- Heat deep fryer to high
- Cut off ends and peel plantains
- Cut plantains into 2 inch pieces
- Fry plantains until golden, approximately 3-4 minutes
- Squash the fried plantains with a tostonera, or any flat object like a plate. They should be at least half an inch thick.
- Fry them again until deep golden, approximately 3-4 minutes
- Line a plate with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Place tostones onto the plate and immediately salt both sides generously.
- Eat them while they’re hot!
As a baby, the attempts at teaching me to say “Abuelita” (Grandma in Spanish) resulted in me naming my maternal grandmother “Bita.” Bita lived with us for most of my life until she passed away when I was 17. She was an amazing cook, though during my youth I was too picky to appreciate most of it. One thing I did always appreciate was her tostones!
Tostones are unripe plantains, fried two times, resulting in a crisp salty exterior and a soft, sweet, chewy interior. I used to try to order tostones at Cuban restaurants from time to time, but was always disappointed. Only Bita’s would do! At some point I thought I may never enjoy tostones ever again.
I had claimed Bita’s tostonera (the tostone smashing device) and it was having a very lonely life in my cabinet, when I finally decided to give it a try. I am happy to say that I have been enjoying homemade tostones again for a couple of years now, and they are so easy! I don’t really know what restaurants do wrong, possibly just that they sit too long. These babies need to be eaten fresh from the fryer!
All you do is find some green plantains in your produce department. You do NOT want ripe plantains, the greener the better for tostones. You’ll get 4 or 5 tostones per plantain depending on how long it is so judge for yourself how many you need to feed your crowd. I can easily eat 3 or 4 myself with dinner.
Cut the ends off and then slice the peel down the length of the plantain to peel it off. Slice the plantain into sections approximately 2 inches long.
We use a deep fryer, but Bita did it in a pan, so whatever you have will work! Using the deep fryer always leaves a special kind of smell in the house so for a while my husband would take it out to the patio to do any frying. Now we just put it on our stove and put the fan on high. It’s good enough to keep the whole house from smelling like a fryer. Deep fry the plantains until they are golden, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. The ones pictured here are a little darker than I’d generally prefer, but they still came out perfect. Remove the tostones from the fryer and smash ’em! I use Bita’s tostonera which is just two pieces of wood hinged together, and a ring notched out to shape the tostone. You can absolutely use a plate or anything flat. Some of them will come out with the end of the plantain perfectly centered and beautiful, some will fall over and be less pretty. They’ll all taste great. Don’t worry about it!
Pop the smashed plantains back in the fryer for another 3 to 4 minutes until they are deep golden brown. Place them on a plate lines with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Immediately and generously salt both sides.
Enjoy HOT! It was always one of those things where we were grabbing them going, “ouch it’s hot” but still ate them because we couldn’t wait, and that’s how they are at their best. I couldn’t even get a picture of them all before some were taken.