Tag Archives: Tajadas

Recipe: Venezuelan Tajadas (Fried Plantains)

28 Sep

Tajadas are slices of plantains that are fried.   They are served usually as a side, and they are also used to make other dishes like plantain desserts.   They are also a part of the traditional Venezuelan dish, the “Pabellón Criollo”.

Ripe | Yellow Plantain

Ripe | Yellow Plantain


Ingredients
– 1 Ripe/yellow plantain
– 1 Cup vegetable oil – or as needed (for frying)
– Paper towels

Preparation

1. Pour the vegetable oil in a large enough pan and turn on the stove to medium heat, so the oil starts heating up while you prepare the plantains.
2. Cut the two ends of the plantain and make an incision with a knife along the side.

Cut Ends

Cut Ends

3. Remove the skin.

Remove The Skin and Cut In Half

Remove The Skin and Cut In Half

4. Cut the plantain in half.   You can make a straight/down the middle kind of cut, like I did here, or a slanted cut to have more oval like tajadas instead of what I did, which are more rectangular Tajadas. If you cut them in the slanted way, they look better, but the flavor is the same. Check out the slanted ones here (text is in Spanish, though).
5. Now make about 4 slices out of each side of the plantain by slicing them sideways, to form slices of about 0.25 – 0.75 inches.   Don’t make them thicker than that.

Make Slices

Make Slices

6. Lay the plantains on the frying pan and begin to fry them until they are golden brown, turning them if necessary, to fry both sides equally. It took me about 2 minutes per side.

Fry the Plantain Slices

Fry the Plantain Slices

7. Remove the tajadas from the pan one by one and lay on top of a paper towel to remove the excess oil.

Remove Excess Oil

Remove Excess Oil

8. Serve and enjoy!

Venezuelan Tajadas

Venezuelan Tajadas

*One plantain makes about 8 Tajadas (depending on how thick you slice them).   This is a good serving for just 2 people.

¡Buen Provecho!

Plantains

14 Sep

Plantains are one of the most popular fruits in Venezuela, probably because they are produced year-round around the country and they are easily grown.   However, plantains are not easy to eat like bananas.   Please don’t buy a plantain, peel it and try to bite into it like you would with a banana.   Plantains must be cooked before you eat them.

Plantains are delicious and can be cooked in many different ways.   Plantains can also be cooked differently depending on the stage of the plantain, which is great, because you don’t have to wait for a plantain to ripen to eat it, and you don’t have to throw away those overripe ones.   You can use unripe (green), ripe (yellow) or overripe (black) plantains.   If you like plantains you can buy yellow, green or even black from the supermarket and make them according to their color.   Also, don’t store them in the fridge.

Unripe | Green | Plátano Verde

Unripe | Green | Plátano Verde


Unripe | Green | Plátano Verde

Unripe or green plantains have very hard skin and pulp.   The flavor of this stage of the plantain is not sweet, but sharp.   You can use unripe plantains to cook in broths and soups, as well as to make delicious Tostones (fried plantains with salt).

Ripe | Yellow | Pintón | Maduro

Ripe | Yellow | Pintón | Maduro


Ripe | Yellow | Pintón | Maduro

Ripe plantains look mostly yellow with only a few black spots, but very little.   These are the most versatile in terms of cooking, because they can be either salty or sweet. With ripe plantains you can cook Tajadas (fried slices of plantains), or Torta de Plátano (plantain cake).

Overripe | Black | Plátano Pasado

Overripe | Black | Plátano Pasado

Overripe | Black | Plátano Pasado

The skin of overripe plantains is almost all black, and the pulp is kind of sticky and soft to the touch, like a ripe banana.   The flavor of this plantain is very sweet, and it can be caramelized easily.   It also takes the less time to cook.   This stage of the plantain works best for deserts, puréed and also simply baking the plantain and eating with butter or cheese on top.

¡Buen Provecho!

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