Fried ripe plantains – Platanos maduros fritos

Fried ripe plantains or platanos maduros fritos

En español

Here’s my easy recipe for fried ripe plantains or platanos maduros fritos, a must-have side dish for so many Latin dishes. I experienced overexposure to plantains when I was growing up (and it was great). We grew plantains on the farm, my mom used to make us fried ripe plantains for breakfast. Fried plantains are one of the first things I remember cooking on my own as a kid. The snack stalls in the city and at the beach sold the best whole ripe plantains fried and stuffed with cheese. I could fill a cookbook with all the plantain recipes I know. There are so many different ways to prepare them and the taste of each dish is completely different even though the same main ingredient is used. I love dishes made with green or unripe plantains as much as I do those that are made with ripe ones. Fried ripe plantains are probably the most well known way to cook plantains and also the easiest way to cook them.

Fried ripe plantains go well as a side dish for almost any meal, especially if the meal involves rice, one of the most simple and delicious meals you can have is rice with a fried egg and fried plantains. They are great right out of the frying pan, but also with cheese on top. I like to use either queso fresco or feta cheese, the saltiness reminds me of an Ecuadorian cheese call queso de sopa (a soft crumbly salty cheese used in soups), or grated cheese that melts easily (quesillo, mozzarella, monterey jack or fontina). These plantains are also great as appetizers.

Ripe plantains for frying Fried plantains

If you love plantains or want to try different recipes, you can check out my collection of plantain recipes.

Fried ripe plantains - Platanos maduros fritos
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Yield: 5-6 plantains slices per plantain

Fried ripe plantains - Platanos maduros fritos

Easy recipe for fried ripe plantains or platanos maduros fritos, a must-have side dish for so many Latin dishes.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe plantains
  • 1-2 tbs oil for frying, can use avocado, sunflower, peanut oil
  • Optional:
  • Cheese for sprinkling or melting on top: You can use quesillo, queso freso or feta if you want to experience the saltiness contrast with the sweetness of the plantain. Other options include grated mozzarella, monterey jack, or fontina if you prefer the yummy gooiness of melted cheese

Instructions

  1. Wash and peel the plantains
  2. Slice the plantains, the best way to slice them is either diagonally or cut the plantain in half and slice lengthwise. The plantain can also be sliced lengthwise full size, but the smaller diagonal or half slices are easier to manage.
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan and add the plantains
  4. The plantains will cook very quickly, make sure to turn them before they burn and cook until golden on each side. You can use a spatula or a fork to turn them. If the plantain flesh is still pink or white it means that it is not yet fully cooked.
  5. Place the cooked plantains on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
  6. Serve warm

Notes

If adding cheese, sprinkle the cheese over the plantains and serve. If you using a grated cheese then it is best to skip step #5, once the plantains are done leave them in the frying pan and add the grated cheese on top, remove from the heat to avoid burning them and let the cheese melt.

Place the plantain slices in a hot frying pan Cook on each side until golden

Platano frito or fried ripe plantains Platanos fritos

platanos fritos con queso

Platanos fritos or fried ripe plantains Platanos fritos con queso

Fried ripe plantains

This post was last modified: October 10th, 2013 by Layla Pujol

Comments

  1. Great site. Easy to understand instructions. Pictures help to see how long to cook. I have burned many very soft and sweet plantains. A woman from Jamaica said that in her countries the smooth skin of the women was attributed to rubbing the inner skin of plantains on their faces. Plantains are full of vitamins and nutrition. The green plantains are lower in carbs because the sugar has not developed. Here is a question: I used to make a soup with chicken and tomatoes, spices and palm oil. At that time, I would add green plantains and the cooked like potatoes. Many years later, when I added the green plantain, the plantain became very hard and could not be eaten. Do you have suggestions as to what caused the hard plantain in the soup? Kind regards Jackie

    • Hi Jackie – Thank you! Sometimes the green plantains are not good quality and are bruised or already dried up so they don’t cook well, try to get green plantains that are firm and don’t have any brown spots on the skin. In my hometown we also make a soup with green plantains (or even green bananas – but they must be very green) and I was always told to not salt before and during the cooking process (only after), but that was more so that they wouldn’t turn brown. Also, depending on the plantains and the size they are cut, they could need more time. One option would be to boil the plantains separately, peeled and cut in half, then dice them and add them to the soup.

  2. Nunca he hecho platanos fritos, pero estan delicioso! Los hice para una asignación de mi clase española. Muchas gracias!

  3. Beautiful pics and directions! Tonight was my first time cooking plantains after years of just eating them. I love the cheese topping; it was a huge hit. Thanks and i’ll be coming back for more recipes!

  4. I really got into fried plantains after spending several months in Nigeria. Good stuff!

  5. I have always loved fried plantain since my mother used to make it for us when I was young. She made it pretty much the same way as you said except she would sprinkle sugar on top of them after they’ve come out of the pan then we’d eat them with a bit of sour cream on top. It was so delicious! I’d love some more recipes too if you’ve got more!

    Thanks!

  6. Laylita,

    Thank you sooo much for your wonderful recipes! I teach cooking classes (and in a week ro so, one on Latin American foods!). The only way I knew to cook plantains was to fry them – either ripe or green – so thank you so much for all of your amazing recipes!!
    (I have also made fufu with plantains – though it is usually made with yucca, it was incredibel when I used the plantains!).

  7. I just made arroz con gandules and I thought I could do tostones with my yellowish black plantains, but I will make these for dessert! Perfecto! I think I will try mixing in some sweet potato wedges too

  8. I know that no one has commented since last year so I was really glad that this site was still available. I fell in love with fried plantains while in Mexico last week. A neighbor cooked them every day. The only difference between his receipe and yours is that he said he smashes them with the bottom of a glass to flatten them before cooking? Did I get that right? He also put salt on them which was so good. Thanks for this receipe…off to try them now.

    Hi Lisa – Plantains can be cooked either green or ripe (yellow to black skin). It sounds like your friend’s recipe was making patacones, which use green plantains, here is the link to that recipe: http://laylita.com/recipes/2008/06/30/patacones-or-tostones/

  9. Finally! I have been searching for an awesome recipe to cook plantains – one of my husbands favorites. I am cooking this tonight, and I am saving your site to my “favorites”!

    Rony

  10. brenda says:

    do you use them green?

  11. These look wonderful! We make a dipping sauce of plain yogurt (we use soy but either are fine) mixed with our favorite spicy salsa and adds a nice kick and smoothness to these often underestimated treats!

  12. Hello Laylita,

    I’ve been a fan of plantains for many years, and have enjoyed these simple fried ones with black beans and rice for sometime. I would love to see more of your plantain recipes. Will you be posting more?

    Hi – There are a lot of plantain recipes that I still need to post, in the next few weeks I should post a recipe for bolon de verde (green plantain dumplings stuffed with meat or cheese) as well as a ripe plantain puree that is a great side dish for meats.

  13. When I was growing up, I always felt like I was getting to eat dessert for a meal when we had platanos maduros (I like them much more ripe than you described). So sweet, so yummy! I’d love to see a cookbook you’d fill with all the plantain recipes you know…

  14. This is a typical latin american classic. Thank you so much for this recipe Laylita. I usually eat platanos fritos in a typical Salvadorian breakfast, and sometimes my mother has made them for dessert. When my mother makes them for dessert, she sprinkles sugar on top and they are so sweet and delicious. For breakfast, we pair them with this Salvadorian “butter cream,” and its marvelous. I highly recommend you trying these combinations for platanos fritos. Your recipe looks absolutely delicious!

  15. Paul – Thank you for the compliments. The easiest way to tell is based on skin color, any where from yellow to almost black is ripe enough, the riper the plantain the softer and sweeter it will be, some people like them very soft and sweet so they use very ripe plantains (almost black or completely black), I prefer when the skin is entirely yellow, maybe a few dark spots, but still a little bit firm, it makes it easier to cook them and it is just my personal preference.

  16. Thanks for a wonderfully written and photographed site, Laylita, it is an inspiration. What is the best way to tell when the plantain is ripe enough to make platanos maduros? Is it based on skin or flesh color – or softness?

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