Tag Archives: Tostones

Recipe: Venezuelan Tostones

21 Sep

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.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients
– 1 unripe/green plantain
– 1½ cups of vegetable oil (enough for frying)
– 1 cup of water
– Garlic Powder (or 2 garlic cloves)
– Salt
– Olive oil
– Tostonera
– Bowl

Tostonera

Tostonera

Preparation

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.

Cut Tips and Slit

Cut Tips and Slit

Remove Skin

Remove Skin

4. Now cut the entire plantain in rounds of about half an inch each.

Cut In Circles

Cut In Circles

5. Fry the plantain rounds about 2 minutes on one side.   Then turn and continue frying another 2 minutes on the other side.

Fry

Fry

Turn

Turn

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.

Lay on Paper Towels

Lay on Paper Towels

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.

Flatten Plantain Rounds with Tostonera to form Tostones

Flatten Plantain Rounds with Tostonera to form Tostones

Repeat with each plantain round

Repeat with each plantain round

8. Dip each tostón in the salty/garlicky water mixture and then place them back in the pan to fry them a bit more.

Dip in Salt/Garlic Water

Dip in Salt/Garlic Water

9. Once golden take them out and lay them again on paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

Fry a second time and remove excess oil with paper towels again

Fry a second time and remove excess oil with paper towels again

10. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Serve Hot & Sprinkle with Salt

Serve Hot & Sprinkle with Salt

* 1 plantain makes about 10 Tostones (depending on how long the plantain is and on how thick you slice it).

Venezuelan Tostones

Venezuelan Tostones

Venezuelan Tostones

Venezuelan Tostones

¡Buen Provecho!

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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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