West African Fried Plantains

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Fried Plantains are a delicious snack or side dish to your African cooking. They are crispy on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside. They are a tasty snack that can be made in a few minutes.

I love to eat fried plantains by themselves right after frying or as a side to Jollof rice.

Why Fried Plantains?

Close up on fried plantains with jollof rice.

My sister and I have been trying over the last few years to learn more about our West African heritage. I have been trying to learn how to make more cultural dishes with the ingredients I can find here in America, and one of those dishes is fried plantains. 

Fried plantains are eaten a lot in West and Central Africa.

They can be readily found in your local grocery store and I love that I can eat a part of Africa all the time!

I am not a huge fan of the taste of bananas, but I find that plantains have a much more muted banana taste that is absolutely delicious!

Close up on West African fried plantains on a plate.

What are Plantains?

Plantains are a cooking banana. They are generally longer and more starchy than regular bananas and have a firmer texture.

Their muted banana flavor and starchiness allows them to be used in a variety of ways, such as boiling, frying, mashing, or inside of baked goods.

If you are not a fan of the taste of bananas you might like the taste of plantains better!

Plantains can be eaten ripe or unripe and are popular in the Caribbean, West and Central Africa, and Southeast Asia.

How to Pick a Ripe Plantain for Frying?

Ripe plantains on a counter.

The best plantains for frying are the ones that are yellow but almost completely black or have a whole bunch of spots.

Unripe plantains are a muted green color, with no spots, and are very hard to the touch.

Look for plantains that are black or have many spots and are very soft when gently pressed.

How to Fry Plantains?

Making fried plantains is very easy! 

Close up on a half-peeled plantain on a linen napkin.

First, cut the ends off the plantains. Make a shallow cut in the skin lengthwise, and peel off the skin. 

Cut the plantains diagonally. I find that it looks nice this way, and provides more surface area for the plantains to get crispy. 

Sliced plantains on a plate, close up image.

Fry the plantains in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil/ghee in a cast-iron skillet until both sides are nicely golden brown and crispy!

I love to use cast iron skillets for almost all my cooking. I link the one I love to use!

Uncooked plantains in a cast iron skillet.

You might have to fry the plantains in batches, just place the cooked ones on a paper towel-lined plate while you are frying the rest!

Close up on uncooked plantains frying in a cast iron skillet.

They are best served hot, Enjoy!

African plantains snack on a plate with jollof rice.

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West African Fried Plantains

Fried Plantains are a delicious snack or side dish to your African cooking.
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Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: African
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Tonya | The Midwest Kitchen Blog

Ingredients

  • 1 - 2 ripe plantains
  • 2 - 3 tbsp vegetable oil/ ghee

Instructions 

  • Cut the ends off the ripe plantains. Then make a shallow slit in the skin down the length of the plantain.
  • Cut the plantain on a diagonal in 1/2 inch chunks.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet with 2 - 3 tbsp of vegetable oil/ ghee.
  • Fry the plantains on both sides until golden brown, 3 - 5 minutes per side.
  • Place them on a paper towel. Enjoy!

Notes

Cold plantains are not as good, serve immediately!

All nutrition information is automatically generated and should be only used as a rough estimate. This recipe card may contain affiliate links.

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