Fried plantains fritters are one of those ubiquitous Caribbean dishes can be found with almost every meal. The secret to the perfect plantain fritter is the ripeness of the fruit. You want a very ripe plantain. In fact, the riper it is the sweeter the taste. A ripe plantain is also easier to peel.
Although the plantain is a fruit, it is often considered a vegetable. As well, the fruit is easily mistaken for a banana. However, one taste of a plantain and it is evident that it is not even similar to a banana. A plantain is more like a potato in taste and in texture. But when it is fully ripe, it is much sweeter. A ripe plantain is black in color and the sweetness is almost like caramelized sugar.
A Ripe Plantain
A fully ripe plantain is mostly black in color. Typically a plantain is sold green at the market. When shopping for plantains, stay clear of fruit that is wrinkled, mushy and moldy. To ripen a plantain, store it at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. It generally takes seven to ten days to ripen. Plantains also freeze well and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
In the Caribbean, plantains are considered a staple. Most of the time, plantains are fried. However, plantains can also be baked. The versatile fruit is found in numerous sweet and savory dishes.
Fried plantain is a popular side dish in Caribbean cuisine. It goes well with rice and beans or any savory type dish. Plantain fritters can be found in about most Caribbean restaurants or street side vendors.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups plantains, peeled and cut diagonally or round, into 1/4-inch thick pieces
- Oil for frying
- In a bowl, slightly mash the plantains. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs until they are fluffy.
- Add the eggs to the flour mixture. Stir in red pepper and melted butter. Slowly add milk. Beat the mixture with a fork until creamy and smooth.
- Mix in the mashed plantains. Add more milk if needed.
- Heat a frying pan with a little oil.
- Drop the batter by spoonful’s or shape into thin cakes about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Fry for 2-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- Serve warm.
- Plantains have a thick and somewhat tough skin. In fact green plantains can be very difficult to peel. To make it easier, you will need a sharp knife.
- Slice off the ends about an inch or two.
- Slip the skin from one end to the other. Score the length of the fruit in quarters. Peel carefully.
- To prevent bruising and staining your hands, peel the fruit under cold running water. Peel the skin sideway.
- To prevent discoloring, place the fruit in salted water.
- Some people do not like overripe plantains and choose fruit that is firm but not too tough. Keep in mind that the riper the plantain, the sweeter it is.
- If you want a sweet dish, you can substitute sugar for the salt and add different flavors like vanilla or cinnamon.
- 1 large bowl
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 small bowl
- 1 large frying pan