Tostones are green plantains twice-fried in avocado oil. They're crispy, crunchy, starchy, and sweet!
Have you ever wondered what to do with green plantains? Make these tostones, and you'll never have to wonder again. They're a great snack, first off. Tostones are twice-fried, but don't be scared! We are using avocado oil, which is a healthier oil, and they cook so fast and are so tasty you'll be happy you made them. This food is popular in Latin American and Caribbean cuisines but is often closely associated with Puerto Rico and Cuba. You're as likely to find them on the dinner table in these countries are you are to purchase them from street vendors.
- 3 green plantains, medium-sized
- ⅓ cup avocado oil
How to Make Tostones
You'll need 2 to 3 medium-sized green plantains for this dish; most grocery stores will have them and Latin American grocers and markets should, too. Cut the ends off each plantain, and then carefully cut a slit down their length to pierce the exterior without cutting into the fruit itself. Remove the peel carefully, and then cut the tostones into rounds. Keep in mind that they'll turn brown/oxidize quickly, so you'll want to work fast to get them into the pan.
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet or pot. Fry the rounds briefly, and then remove them from the heat. Then, you smash them a bit to flatten, return to the skillet, and fry them again. What you end up with is a fried plantain that looks like a flower and tastes crunchy, savory, and a little sweet.
How to Store and Serve Tostones
Well, if we're being honest, like all fried foods, tostones are best eaten as soon as they're made. For that reason, we're not super excited about recommending you meal prep them but you can if you want to. Or, If you have any leftovers, you can certainly store them in the fridge in an airtight container.
Here's where having an air fryer comes in handy. Reheating in the air fryer for a few minutes will crisp them back up. But the oven will do, as will a hot skillet with a little bit of oil.
Serve these as a snack, dusted with salt. Or serve with a spread of rice and beans. Some people like to eat tostones alongside guacamole, salsa, chips, or rice with cilantro and lime. All good. You could also serve it with grilled foods or veggies and it would be a nice accompaniment.
Substitutions and Alterations
There are two ingredients in this recipe, so the only thing you can really swap is the oil choice. If you have vegetable oil or something else with a high smoke point, you can use that. But tostones aren't tostones without green plantains. And whatever you do, please don't use bananas instead. They're just not the right texture or consistency.
RELATED DISHES AND TASTES!
- Plantain Taco Bowl Meal Prep
- Sheet Pan Caribbean Chicken Thighs
- Mexican Whole Grain Rice and Quinoa Casserole Meal Prep
- 3 green plaintains medium sized
- ⅓ cup avocado oil
- Cut the ends off each plantain, then carefully cut a slit lengthwise down the peel without cutting into the flesh. Use your hands to separate the peel from the fruit. Cut each plantain crosswise into 1-inch rounds.
- Add enough oil to just skim coat the bottom of a heavy skillet and set the pan over medium to medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the plantains in a single layer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly golden.
- Remove plantains from pan and transfer to a work surface or cutting board. Use a plantain press or the bottom of a drinking glass to press the plantain into rounds about ½-inch thick.
- Return plantains to skillet, adding oil if necessary, and cook on each side for 2 to 3 minutes more or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the pan and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. While still hot, sprinkle with sea salt.