Raise your hand if you love plantains! 😊😊😊 I have always loved plantains and bananas in most of their variations. Which is why, since my first glorious toston in Central America, I made it my goal to learn how to make this amazing side dish. Tostones in Nicaragua, also know as patacones in the rest of Central America, are thick, fried plantain cakes and are usually served as a side. They are savory with the slightest hint of sweetness coming from the sugar in the plantain.
Once we realized that patacones are an amazing bus-ride snack, we decided to give them a chance. Plantains are very abundant in Costa Rica, so we figured we could try making them several different ways without spending too much money. We hope you enjoy this basic version of patacones, and stay tuned for variations that we discover as we travel more.
Ingredients (3 portions)
- 3 large plantains.
- Tip: For the best taste, you should use plantains that are beginning to turn yellow, but still have a few green spots.
- Canola oil
- Place enough oil in a small pot to cover about an inch from the bottom and place on high heat.
- Peel the plantains and cut into fourths.
- Fry the plantains in the oil until they begin to turn a golden brown.
- Remove the plantains from the oil, strain them to remove excess oil, and let them sit for a couple of minutes to cool down.
- Using any kitchen utensil with a flat bottom (a glass jar is ideal), squish the plantain chunks (see photos below).
- Traditionally, tostones are squeezed/smashed with a tostonera, which is a device designed to get the perfect round plantain pancake. We didn’t have one handy, so we used a glass jar. The result was just as good, but if you want to up your game and become a toston master, you might want to find a tostonera.
- Re-fry the squished plantains until the edges of the new, flatter cakes look golden brown as well.
- Remove your new tostones from the oil, strain, and add salt to taste.
- Tip: Adding salt as soon as you strain the plantains will help the salt stick to the patacones and not fall off.
- Let the patacones cool down and enjoy your fresh Central American snack!