Peel the plantain by cutting off the ends and running a knife tip down the plantain, scoring the peel. Using your fingers, get under a piece of the peel and pop it up. Keep running your thumb or finger between the peel and the plantain.
Cut the plantain into roughly 1-1½ inch pieces.
Add enough oil to a medium pot to cover the bottom by 1 inch of oil. Use a pot that is big enough that when the plantains are added, the oil will not rise beyond the middle of the pot.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add a test piece.
Fry the plantains for 4-5 minutes or until they are golden. Give them a gentle stir occasionally.
Remove the pot from the heat and remove the plantains with a slotted spoon. Place them on a paper-towel lined plate.
Keep the pot off the heat. While we wait for the plantains to cool a bit, then make the tostones.
Fold two paper towels in half. Make sure it’s cushiony, if it’s not, use three. It’s really important to use good quality paper towels, economy ones will stick to the plantain.
Cool the plantain pieces for at least 5 minutes, more if needed.
Place the plantain on the folded paper towel. Make an imaginary line down the middle, and place the plantain in the middle of one of the halves.
Fold the paper towel over the plantain and using the palm of your hand press down firmly and in one motion. Peel back the paper towel and repeat with the remaining pieces.
Once all of your tostones are shaped, place the pot back over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add a few tostones.
Cook the tostones until they are golden and crispy around the edges. This should take anywhere from 3-5 minutes, move the tostones around gently, occasionally.
Remove the tostones and place on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt as soon as they come out of the frying oil.
Repeat with the remaining tostones.
Serve with extra salt, limes and hot sauce if desired. Enjoy!