This Plátanos Fritos recipe combines the natural sweetness of ripe plantains with the irresistible allure of crispiness and caramelization. Enjoy this sweet and super easy-to-make treat at home.
Plátanos fritos, also known as fried plantains, are a popular dish in southern Mexico where they’re served as an accompaniment for traditional dishes or as a dessert drizzled with condensed milk or cajeta.
To make plátanos fritos, the plantains are usually peeled and sliced diagonally or into rounds, then fried in hot oil until they become tender and develop a caramelized exterior.
The end result is a delicious snack or side dish with a crispy texture on the outside and a soft, sweet interior.
- Plantains: They are known in Spanish as plátanos verdes, plátano macho or maduro. Look for them at Latin American stores and make sure to choose plantains that are fully ripe, as they will have yellow skin with black spots. Ripe plantains are sweeter and have a softer texture, which is ideal for frying.
- Oil: A vegetable oil such as sunflower oil or corn oil is commonly used for frying. It should have a high smoke point to ensure the plantains cook properly without burning.
- Toppings: Plátanos fritos can be served with various condiments or toppings to enhance the flavor. Common choices include condensed milk, honey, caramel sauce, or even a dollop of whipped cream.
How To Make Plátanos Fritos
Start by peeling the plantains and cutting them into thick slices or diagonally, whatever you prefer.
TOP TIP: Thicker slices will result in a softer interior and a more crispy texture on the outside.
Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a non-stick pan or skillet and heat over medium heat.
Carefully place the plantain slices into the hot oil, making sure not to add them in a single layer and not overcrowd the pan.
Let them cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until they turn golden brown.
Once the plantains are fried to your desired crispness and color, remove them from the pan and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
Keep frying the plantains in small batches until all are done.
Serve on a platter and drizzle the fried plantains with condensed milk and sprinkle them with ground cinnamon. Enjoy!
- Choose ripe plantains: Look for plantains with yellow skin and black spots, indicating that they are fully ripe. If you can’t find ripe plantains at the store you can still buy them green and let them ripe a few days in your kitchen countertop.
- Use the right oil and temperature: Opt for a high-heat oil such as sunflower oil or corn oil. Make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the plátanos maduros, but not smoking. A medium-high heat works well. If the oil is not hot enough, the plantains may absorb more oil and become greasy.
- Slice the plantains uniformly: For even cooking, try to slice the platano into uniform thickness. This helps ensure that they cook evenly and achieve a consistent texture throughout.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan: Fry the plantains in batches in a single layer, without overcrowding the pan. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and soggy plantains. Give them enough space to allow proper browning and crispiness.
- Flip them gently: When flipping the plantains, use a spatula preferably, and handle them with care to avoid breaking them. They become delicate as they cook, so gentle flipping is important.
- Adjust cooking time: The cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the plantain slices and your desired level of crispness. Keep an eye on them and adjust the cooking time accordingly. Thicker slices may require slightly longer cooking.
- Remove excess oil: After frying, place the plantains on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. This helps to achieve a crispy exterior without an overly greasy texture.
What To Serve With Platano Maduro Frito?
Plátanos fritos are best enjoyed when served immediately while still hot and crispy. They can lose their crispness if left sitting for too long.
A platano maduro frito can be served as dessert (like in this recipe) just drizzled with condensed milk, caramel sauce, or chocolate sauce.
Store & Reheat
To store, allow the fried plantains to cool down completely first. Place them in an airtight container or a resealable bag. Make sure to remove any excess oil by patting them dry with a paper towel. Properly stored, plátanos fritos can be refrigerated for up to 2-3 days.
For reheating, heat a non-stick skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of oil or butter to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the plátanos fritos and cook them for a few minutes on each side until they are heated through and crispy again.
While not the ideal method for reheating fried plantains, you can use a microwave if you’re looking for a quick option. Place the maduros fritos on a microwave-safe plate, and heat them in short intervals of 15-30 seconds. Be aware that reheating leftovers in the microwave may result in slightly softened and less crispy plantains.
Are platanos fritos healthy?
Plantains themselves are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. They are also low in fat and cholesterol-free. However, it’s important to note that platanos fritos are a fried food and, therefore, should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
If you are looking for a healthier option, consider alternative cooking methods such as baking or grilling plantains. These methods reduce the amount of added fat and calories, while still providing a tasty dish.
What’s the difference between a regular banana and plantains?
Regular bananas are typically sweet with a mild flavor. They commonly have a soft texture when fully ripe. Plantains, on the other hand, are less sweet and have a starchier taste. They are often cooked before consumption and have a firmer texture even when fully ripe.
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- 2 large ripe plantains
- vegetable oil (sunflower, corn, etc.)
- condensed milk (for serving)
- ground cinnamon (for serving)
- Peel the plantains and cut them into thick slices or diagonally, whatever you prefer.
- Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a non-stick pan or skillet and heat over medium heat.
- Carefully place the plantain slices into the hot oil in a single layer.
- Let them cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until they turn golden brown.
- Once the plantains are fried to your desired crispness and color, remove them from the pan and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Keep frying the plantains in small batches until all are done.
- Serve on a platter, drizzle with condensed milk, and sprinkle them with ground cinnamon.
- If you can’t find ripe plantains at the store you can still buy them green and let them ripe a few days in your kitchen countertop.
- Fry the plantains in batches in a single layer, without overcrowding the pan. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and soggy plantains.
- The cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the plantain slices. Thicker slices may require slightly longer cooking.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.