Spicy Fried Plantain
Published by Amistad
Plantain in various guises is a popular snack throughout West Africa and the Caribbean. This variation was contributed by Dee Dee Dailey.
Use yellow-ripe, not-too-firm plantains for these marvelously seasoned nibbles. They could easily become a favorite cocktailtime hors d’oeuvre, especially when served with a Caribbean rum drink.
HOW TO PEEL PLANTAINS
Yellow-ripe and black-ripe plantains are relatively easy to peel—handle them just like bananas, being ready to pare away any stubborn peel with a small sharp knife if necessary. But green unripe plantains require a special technique:
Using a small sharp knife, trim away the stem and tip from the plantain. Cut the plantain in half crosswise. Make four shallow incisions down the entire length of each half, cutting just through the peel down to the flesh. Using the knife as an aid, pry, lift, and peel the tough skin away from the flesh.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, game day
Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre, side dish, snack
Dietary Considerationhors d'oeuvre, side dish, snack
Taste and Texturecrisp, hot & spicy, savory, spiced
Type of Dishvegetable
- 4 large yellow-ripe plantains, peeled (see Notes)
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- Vegetable oil for frying
Cut the plantains into diagonal slices about ½ inch thick. In a medium bowl, combine the ginger, cloves, cayenne, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the water to form a paste. Add the plantain slices and toss to coat well. Let stand 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°.
3. Pour enough vegetable oil into a large skillet to reach ½ inch up the sides. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. (An electric skillet set at 350° works well.) In batches, fry the plantain slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried plantains to a paper towellined baking sheet, and keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining plantains. Serve warm.
1991 Eric V. Copage