How to Cook Plantain

July 5, 2024
by HelloFresh Tips & tricks

    If you’re not familiar with plantain, you could easily confuse it with banana. It does however belong to the Musaceae, banana family of plants, and is closely related to the common banana. Plantains are grown in tropical areas of the world and used in various cuisines. This interesting ingredient in often included in both savoury and sweet recipes. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to cook plantain and impress your friends and family with this tropical treat.

    What is plantain?

    Plantains are fruit, but in a similar way to tomatoes, they are cooked and eaten as if they are a vegetable. Unlike common bananas, plantains are not easy to peel and cannot be eaten raw. They must be cooked and can be prepared in a variety of ways. 

    Cooked plantain is a staple of Caribbean, Central and South American, African, and Southeast Asian cuisines and is enjoyed in varying recipes around the world.

    Plantains are usually inexpensive and provide great nutritional value and delicious flavour. They are a great ingredient to cook with as they are always ready to be eaten, regardless of their stage of ripeness. You can also include them in a huge range of recipes, from breakfasts to appetisers and even desserts.

    How to cook plantain

    There are a number of ways to cook plantain, including frying and baking: 

    1. How to fry plantain

    To fry plantain:

    1. Cut the ends off the plantain and peel back the skin. 
    2. Cut into diagonal slices as this gives a larger surface area.
    3. Heat oil until hot in a frying pan. Fry the plantain on each side for a few minutes until it begins to caramelise. Make sure it doesn’t burn.

    2. How to make plantain chips

    Plantain chips are another tasty treat. 

    1. Cut plantains into thin slices and soak in a bowl of salted cold water for 30 minutes.
    2. Heat oil in a heavy pot until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 190°C.
    3. Drain the plantains from the water and pat dry. 
    4. Fry the slices of plantain in batches, moving them with a fork to make sure they don’t clump together. 
    5. Fry for 30 to 45 seconds or until they become golden and crispy.
    6. Remove the fried plantains with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate lined with a paper towel. 
    7. Season with salt and/or granulated garlic to taste. 
    8. Allow the plantain chips to cool, and serve.

    All cooking appliances vary. These are guidelines only. Ensure the food is piping hot before serving. Do not reheat.

    3. How to bake plantain

    Baked plantain is a great savoury choice, too. For the perfect baked plantain: 

    1. Heat your oven to 200°C.
    2. Cut off both ends of the plantain and create a slit along the length of each.
    3. Put the plantain onto a baking sheet with the cut side facing up.
    4. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until tender. 
    5. Split open the plantains and place a teaspoon of butter into each. Consider adding seasonings like chilli flakes and salt for extra flavour.
    6. Place back into the oven and bake again for 10 minutes.

    How long should you cook plantain

    The length of time to cook plantain depends on the method of preparation. 

    • For fried plantains, cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
    • For baked plantains, cook for 30 to 45 minutes. 
    • For sautéed plantains, cook for 10 to 12 minutes, turning every few minutes.
    • For fried plantain chips, cook for 30 to 45 seconds.

    Plantain benefits

    Plantain is a fantastic way to increase your potassium intake. They’re one of the most potassium-rich foods on the planet. Plantain is also a good source of magnesium, containing roughly 16% of your daily requirements. Plantains are high in fibre and can boost your immune system. They contain 36% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A and up to 24% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin B6.

    What to serve with plantain

    Due to its versatility, plantain can be paired with a variety of accompaniments. Some of the popular dishes that go well with plantain are: 

    Recipes with plantain

    Cooking plantains is simple and perfect for adding to these Cuban recipes to share with the family.

    If you’re looking for more easy and delicious cooking inspiration, take a look at the HelloFresh menu to discover more.

    All food products vary. The instructions printed on the food packaging always supersedes those printed in this article and must always be followed.
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