Someone said that if you fancy some junk food it is best if you make it yourself! Garlic Plantain Tostones is my type of junk food and today I will be trying to convince you to try it too! Deep fried, crispy, salty and very, very naughty, vegan (!) Garlic Plantain Tostones work great as a snack or a side dish.
What are Garlic Plantain Tostones?
Garlic Plantain Tostones are basically beautifully crispy on the outside and lovely and mushy on the inside plantains, which were cut into pieces, soaked in garlic infused water and then fried. Twice!
I am a cook – not a saint!
In case you have never heard of plantains, they look pretty much like bananas, but need to be cooked before eating. They are a staple food of West and Central Africa, Caribbean islands and Central and South America. Garlic Plantain Tostones come from Puerto Rico, where they are served with rice and beans.
So, first of all, to make Garlic Plantain Tostones you need green plantains. (When plantains turn yellow they are just too sweet in this recipe.)
Green plantain can be tricky to peel, because the skin if firmly attached to the flesh, but don’t get discouraged. First, chop the ends off.
Then, run your knife through the peel lengthwise, without cutting into the flesh; do the same thing about 1 inch away from the first cut. This will create a sliver of skin, which you can now pull away with your knife from the flesh, starting from one of the plantain ends. Repeat this until the whole skin is removed. If this proves to hard to do look how Melissa from The Latin Kitchen peels a green plantain like a pro!
If this is all too annoying simply peel it like a cucumber with your knife. You are likely to remove some of the flesh away along with the skin, but this method works perfectly fine too! Make sure to remove all the peel though, which is bitter and not nice to eat.
To soak or not to soak?
If you follow the Puerto Rican way you should soak the plantain pieces in garlic infused water before the first and, very briefly, before the second frying.
Now, in my first few attempts of cooking this dish, I found that if you soak plantains second time when they are still hot or do it for more than 30 seconds, you can end up with an oily soup in the pan, instead of beautiful, crispy Garlic Plantain Tostones. The texture goes all over the place, plantains expand a lot and often break apart in the pan. They also absorb way more oil – it gets messy and not very appetising!
What worked best for me was when I soaked the plantain pieces only once, before the first frying. I then smashed them, fried again and served seasoned with garlic salt (you can also serve Garlic Plantain Tostones with a nice, garlic dip!). The plantain pieces remained intact and garlic flavour was coming through gently.
Garlic Plantain Tostones – homemade junk food in its full glory – Guilty as charged!
Get in that bowl!
- Place minced garlic and plantain pieces in a bowl, add cold water just so it covers the plantains and let them soak for 20 minutes.
- Remove plantain pieces onto a paper towel and discard the garlic water.
- Deep fry plantain pieces for about 5 min in batches. Make sure you don’t overcrowd them as you need to move them around at first so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the plantain pieces onto a paper towel. When they cool off a bit, using a wooden spoon, press on each plantain piece so it gives in a bit and is about ⅓ thinner than before.
- Return smashed plantain pieces to the pan and fry them for another 2-3 minutes so they turn golden brown.
- Remove the Garlic Plantain Tostones onto a paper towel briefly, transfer to a bowl and toss with some garlic salt.
- Serve as they come, with garlic dip or as a side dish.