Tostones are one of my favorite ways to eat plantains. It is also one of the most common ways to eat unripe plantains, and easy to make as well. Because they use green plantains, the texture of Tostones is dry and hard, and their flavor is salty. The simplest way to serve these plantains is sprinkled with salt, but you can treat them as appetizers, like little disk-dish for other toppings such as cheese, mojo, salsa, Guasacaca, salads, butter, lemon juice and much more. Usually they are served as a side dish in other Venezuelan dishes with sprinkled salt on top. Then as you eat the rest of your shredded beef, rice, black beans, avocado or such, you can use them as a cracker to pick up other main components of your dish.
- 1 unripe/green plantain
- 1½ cups of vegetable oil (enough for frying)
- 1 cup of water
- Garlic Powder (or 2 garlic cloves)
- Olive oil
1. Add the oil to a small frying pan and heat it up on high temperature.
2. Mix the salt and garlic with the cup of water in a bowl, to create salty and garlicky water.
3. First cut the top and bottom of the plantain, just the tip. Then cut a slit from top to bottom through the skin, until you touch the pulp. Use a little bit of olive oil on your hands to separate the pulp from the skin, so that you avoid the pulp from blackening quickly.
4. Now cut the entire plantain in rounds of about half an inch each.
5. Fry the plantain rounds about 2 minutes on one side. Then turn and continue frying another 2 minutes on the other side.
6. Carefully remove the plantain from the pan and lay them on top of some paper towels to soak up the excess oil. Do not turn off the stove just yet.
7. Now you will flatten the rounds in to the famous “Tostones” shape. You can do this easily with a “Tostonera”, which is simply a wooden press created specifically to make Tostones. But if you don’t have one, you can use a mallet or the bottom of a plate. Make sure you don’t press too hard or the tostón will break. Leave them at about ¼ of an inch thick.
8. Dip each tostón in the salty/garlicky water mixture and then place them back in the pan to fry them a bit more.
9. Once golden take them out and lay them again on paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
10. Sprinkle with salt and serve.
* 1 plantain makes about 10 Tostones (depending on how long the plantain is and on how thick you slice it).