This Fried Plantains Recipe makes perfectly golden brown fried plantains every time, with a crisp, caramelized outside and a soft, sweet, creamy center. Serve them with your favourite Jamaican dishes because this is the ultimate Caribbean side dish!
Jamaican Fried Plantains Recipe
Ripe plantains make for the best fried plantains. The riper the sweeter and when sweet plantains are fried, they caramelize. This sweet side dish pairs well with rich, savoury dishes so you can enjoy it with breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Here’s Why You’ll Love this Fried Plantains Recipe
- Quick and Easy – from the cutting board to the skillet, to the table, plantains take less than 10 minutes to make.
- Absolutely Delicious – nothing tastes quite like them. They have crisp brown edges with a sweet, creamy center.
- Versatile – in Caribbean cuisine, plantains are just as versatile as potatoes. They go with nearly everything!
What are Plantains?
Plantains are a super starchy fruit and a popular side dish made across the Caribbean from Jamaica and Puerto Rico to Cuba and Trinidad. They are sometimes referred to as cooking bananas because they are usually cooked before eating.
Plantains originated in the subtropics of Southeast Asia. Through trade routes, plantains made their way to Africa and eventually the Caribbean islands.
What Does Plantain Taste Like?
They have a mild flavour and are not as sweet as regular bananas.
Plantains vs. Bananas (Are Plantains still a Banana?)
Plantains are not bananas but they are in the same family. While bananas can be eaten as is, plantains are too starchy and need to be cooked before they are consumed. Visually, plantains are larger with thicker skin.
Plantains are bright green and turn black as they ripen. Green plantains are less sweet because they have not yet ripened.
What’s the Difference between Plantains and Tostones?
Plantains are ripe whereas tostones are unripe plantains fried, smashed, and refried to make green plantain chips. Tostones are thinner, crispier, and twice-fried.
How to Prepare Plantain for Cooking
Start by peeling ripe plantains. The easiest way to peel a plantain is by slicing off both ends and then running a sharp knife across the skin vertically.
Cut a slit down the outer side of each plantain (lengthwise), and remove the peel. Then slice the plantains on a diagonal, about 1/2-inch thick. If they are cut too thin they will be too crispy and burn. Set the sliced plantains aside until you are ready to cook.
Are Fried Plantains Healthy?
Plantains are healthier than bananas, with more vitamins and potassium. When fried, they are similar to starchy veggies like potatoes. They are fine to eat in moderation but frying in oil will definitely add calories. This recipe includes an air fryer option which is healthier.
What’s Needed to Make This Recipe (Kitchen Tools and Equipment)
- Large Skillet or Non-Stick Pan – to pan fry the plantains without them sticking to the pan.
Fried Plantains Ingredients and Ingredient Notes
* MEASUREMENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS ARE LISTED IN THE RECIPE CARD NEAR THE BOTTOM OF PAGE *
- Large Ripe Plantains – peeled and cut into diagonal pieces.
- Vegetable Oil – use this or another neutral cooking oil.
- Salt – this is an optional ingredient. Use as desired.
How to Make Fried Plantains
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add the sliced plantain with a sprinkle of salt. Fry until the plantain has reached a golden brown colour, flipping once, about 2-3 minutes per side. Then remove and set aside.
How to Make Air Fryer Plantains
Place sliced plantains in the air fryer basket. Lightly spray them with cooking oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook at 380°F (193°C) for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Depending on the size of the air fryer, you may need to cook in batches.
Serving Suggestions and Tips
- Jamaican Curry Goat – stewed saucy meat pairs perfectly with white rice and plantains, try curry goat or Jamaican Oxtail Recipe.
- Ackee and Saltfish – enjoy plantains with breakfast.
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken – serve plantains with spicy jerk chicken and Jamaican Rice and Peas.
- Jamaican Poke Bowl – add fried plantains to your bowl for a savoury sweet taste.
Recipe Notes and Tips for Success
- For fried sweet plantains, use ripe plantains with a visibly black peel (or black spots). They peel easier and cook faster too.
- Cut plantains diagonally so they will cook evenly.
- Use just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. If you use too much, the plantains will be soggy.
- Do not cook over high heat. Plantains cook quickly and can burn easily.
Can I Make This Fried Plantains Recipe Ahead of Time?
Fried plantains are best enjoyed immediately but they can be stored for later.
Once they have completely cooled, store leftover plantain slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat fried sweet plantains in the microwave, the stovetop, or the air fryer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Frying is the best way to cook ripe plantains. You can deep fry, pan fry or air fry.
If your plantains are hard, they probably weren’t ripe enough.
No. Simply slice them and fry.
You can eat them raw but they taste best when cooked.
Interested in more Jamaican Recipes? Check These Out!
- Jamaican Banana Fritters
- Peanut Porridge
- The Best Jamaican Recipes
- The Best Jamaican Recipes
- Oxtail Patty
- Jamaican Green Banana Porridge
- Jamaican Poke Bowl
- Easy Classic Banana Bread with Recipe Video
- Crispy Air Fryer Fried Chicken
- Green Banana Porridge
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Fried Plantains Recipe
- Large Skillet or non-stick pan
- 2 lrg Ripe Plantain peeled and cut into diagonal pieces
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil or neutral cooking oil
- Salt optional or as desired
- Cut both ends of the plantains off, and cut a slit down the outer side of each plantain (lengthwise), then remove the peel. Then slice the plantains on a diagonal, about 1/2-inch thick and set the sliced plantains aside.
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high, add plantain with a sprinkle of salt and fry until the plantain has reached a golden brown colour, flipping once, about 2-3 minutes per side the remove and set aside.
Note, the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary based on products used.