Fried Sweet Plantains

Fried Sweet Plantains

These fried sweet plantains, or maduros in Spanish, are plantains in a ripe state that are sliced and fried until they’re tender in the middle and crispy and caramelized around the edges.

The fried plantains arranged on a white plate with parsley as a garnish on the left side.

 

Maduro in Spanish means ripe, so maduros refer to the ripe state of a plantain. If you’re ordering sweet plantains in a Latin restaurant you can ask for platanos maduros or simply say “maduros”.

 

Plantains are a staple in the Caribbean and are used in an array of food. Green plantains are used in savory recipes like this sopa de platano and ajiaco. Ripe ones are usually used for desserts and sides. Their applications are varied and delicious!

 

In Cuban cuisine, fried sweet plantains are one of the most popular sides, rivaled only by fried green plantains, or tostones in Spanish. The interesting thing is that these two completely different dishes are made from the same ingredient – a plantain. For tostones, it’s in the green stage, before it starts to ripen. For the maduros, it’s as ripe as it gets!

Three plantains in different levels of ripeness, green, yellow and black.

 

How do you know if plantains are ripe?

The best plantains to use for platanos maduros fritos are super ripe ones. Make sure the peel is yellow and black or completely black. They should also be fairly soft and give when pressed with a thumb. The darker it is, the sweeter the plantain will be. Serve them as a side to your favorite Cuban meal. If you need inspiration try this ropa vieja, or this picadillo recipe.

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 Ripe Plantain
  • 1½ cup Oil, or enough to cover the bottom of a large skillet with ½ inch of oil. Use a neutral (flavorless) variety with a high smoke point – we used canola oil and a 10 inch skillet.

 

Prep work

The only prep work required here is peeling and slicing the plantain. Maybe that’s why it’s such a popular side dish, simple prep and a quick cook time.

 

Place the plantain on a flat surface and cut off the ends. Score the peel by running a sharp knife tip down the length of the banana. Try not to cut deep into the flesh. Gently remove the peel; it should come off in one piece or in long strips.

A half peeled ripe plantain on a wood cutting board.

 

Slice it at a slight angle into roughly 1 inch pieces. Each plantain will yield approximately 6-8 pieces.

A close up of plantain pieces on a wood cutting board.

 

How to fry sweet plantains

Add the oil to a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat (we used a 10 inch skillet). Let the oil get hot, but not too hot. If the oil is too hot the plantains will start caramelizing and even burning on the outside without cooking on the inside. We want the oil to bubble gently around the pieces. Use a test piece to make sure the oil is hot enough.

 

Carefully place the sliced plantain pieces in the oil. You should be able to fit about 6-8 pieces depending on the size of your skillet. Do not overcrowd the pan, fry in batches if necessary. Try to leave enough room between them so that they don’t touch. They tend to gravitate towards each other and will stick and clump together if not separated. Use tongs, or a plastic spatula to keep them in their own space.

Nine slices cooking in a black skillet, the oil is bubbling around them.

 

Fry the plantains for 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip each one and cook another 2 minutes or so, until golden brown on both sides.

The pieces cooking in the oil now starting to caramelize.

 

Flip again if necessary and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Once they start to brown and caramelize it will happen really quickly. Keep an eye on them.

The plantains cooking in they skillet, now browned and caramelized on the edges.

 

Remove the plantains from the skillet using tongs or a slotted spoon to allow as much oil to drain as possible and place on a plate or platter for serving. Cook’s note: Let the oil cool off a little between batches. If the oil is too hot the outside will brown too quickly and could burn.

A close up of the finished side dish served on a white plate.

 

Storing and reheating

Store leftover plantains in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a day or two. They reheat really well in the microwave; just give them about 30 seconds on high heat.

 

You may also like these Cuban side dishes:

 

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The fried plantains arranged on a white plate with parsley as a garnish on the left side.
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Fried Sweet Plantains

These fried sweet plantains, or maduros in Spanish, are plantains in a ripe state that are sliced and fried until they’re tender in the middle and crispy and caramelized around the edges.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Cuban
Keyword: plantains
Servings: 3
Calories: 155kcal
Author: Elizabeth

Ingredients

  • 1 Ripe Plantain peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces sliced at a slight diagonal angle
  • cup Oil or enough to cover the bottom of a large skillet with ½ inch of oil. Use a neutral (flavorless) variety with a high smoke point

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat (we used a 10 inch skillet). Don’t let the oil get too hot. We want it to bubble gently around the pieces. Use a test piece to make sure the oil is hot enough.
  • Carefully place the sliced plantain pieces in the oil. You should be able to fit about 6-8 pieces depending on the size of your skillet. Do not overcrowd the pan, fry in batches if necessary.
  • Fry the plantains for 2-3 minutes.
  • Carefully flip each one and cook another 2 minutes or so, until golden brown on both sides.
  • Flip again if necessary and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Once they start to brown and caramelize it will happen really quickly, so keep an eye on them.
  • Remove the plantains from the skillet using tongs or a slotted spoon to allow as much oil to drain as possible and place on a plate or platter for serving.

Video

Notes

If you’re frying more than one plantain let the oil cool down a little bit between batches. If the oil is too hot the outside will brown too quickly and could burn.
Any leftover plantains can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for a day or two. They reheat really well in the microwave; just give them about 30 seconds on high heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 672IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.

 


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