Back off Mr. Potato
In case South America hasn’t been on your travel radar yet odds are high that you don’t know what a “Patacon” is. These super yummy golden crispy chips are made of green plantains, also called “cooking bananas” which are a major staple in Central America, the Caribbean Islands, West and Central Africa and the northern, coastal parts of South America.
Not just a green banana
Please don’t confuse the cooking bananas with regular bananas which are green and unripe. They are not the same. Green plantains are usually larger and bigger and much starchier. Their peel is thicker and harder and you’re better off with my technique described below in order to peel them without sacrificing your finger nails 🙂 Larger, bigger, thicker, harder… in case your naughty mind got distracted, we’re still talking about bananas here!!
A serious replacement for french fries
I know, this might not be the most healthy side dish, because these patacones really have to be fried in a good amount of oil, so they get crispy and golden brown. But hey, they’re still vegan, no saturated fat, no colesterol, no antibiotics, no hormones, so if you don’t eat a kilo of them every day it is absolutely fine.
Why are there turtles in the photo?
I have this cute little turtle family as a decoration in my bedroom. I bought one of them on every trip I made to the Galapagos Islands. I went there a whopping 5 times. I made my Divemaster training there and went back for boat trips and shorter working periods. It’s also there, where I learned to make patacones. And it’s also there, where I’ve eaten a ton of them, haha! I have a lot of memories of these Islands, it’s a magical place and I hope they will keep protecting them. Both land and marine life are spectacular and a must see if you love nature or diving.
Back to the Patacones
These crispy plantain chips are very easy to make, just follow the steps below. You can serve them like traditionally in South America with ceviche. Or also with a veggie burger, or basically with anything you would make fries for. They are also super yummy as a snack.
Eat them the same day
I would recommend to eat them the same day. As the green plantains are much starchier, they’re not so good anymore the next day. But honestly I’m not worried at all that you will have left-overs… they are so crispy, crunchy, yum & highly addictive!
Give it a try! You won’t regret and you can surprise your family with something new!
Looking for something crispy, but with no oil? Then check out these recipes:
|Prep Time||10 minutes|
|Cook Time||15 minutes|
- For peeling the plantains cut the tops off and slice the peel on each side. Then, using your thumbs, take the peel off. This is much harder than peeling a regular banana, but with this technique you shouldn't have any problems.
- Then cut the plantains into 2-3 cm pieces.
- Add the oil to a wok or big skillet and put it on high heat.
- Carefully place the plantain pieces in the oil and fry them on each side for 2-3 minutes until they get slightly golden.
- Remove the plantains with a slotted spoon, and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Do not fry too much, otherwise they get dry.
- Then with the bottom of a drinking glass or a small pot press on each plantain piece, flattening it into a flat disc. Repeat with the rest of the pieces.
- Put these flat discs back into the oil and fry for another 3-4 minutes on each side until they get golden, slightly brown and crispy. Then take out and leave on paper towels in order to absorb excess oil.
- Transfer to the serving plate and sprinkle generously with sea salt.
Green plantains are not just green, unripe bananas. Green plantains, also called "Cooking Bananas" are banana cultivars in the genus Musa and are different to the regular banana. Green Plantains are much starchier and cannot be eaten unripe. They are a major food staple in West and Central Africa, the Caribbean islands, Central America, and northern, coastal parts of South America.
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