Patacones (known as tostones in Central America) are twice-fried rounds of green plantain. Fried green plantain (plátano verde) is a starchy and sweet snack and they work great as an appetizer as well.
This recipe is easy to follow, though you will want to begin about an hour before you intend to serve them because the plantains need to soak. While you're waiting, prepare a fresh aji amarillo sauce if you don't already have one. This creamy chili pepper sauce is the perfect dip for your patacones.
- 3 green plantains (unpeeled)
- 4 cups water (salted, or amount needed to cover plantains)
- 2–3 cups vegetable oil (or amount needed for frying)
- 1 dash salt (Kosher)
Plantains become sweeter and less starchy as they ripen, but they also lose their firmness. That is not ideal for this recipe. You'll find it best to use plantains that are still green and just starting to ripen, showing a touch of yellow on the skin.
- Slice the ends off of each plantain, then slice the unpeeled plantains crosswise into 1 1/2-inch wide circles.
- Place the plantain slices in a bowl of salted water to soak for 1 hour.
- After soaking, peel the plantain slices. If the peel does not come off easily, make a slit through the skin with a sharp knife, then peel it off. Place the peeled plantain slices on paper towels and pat dry.
- In a heavy skillet, heat 1 to 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350 F.
- Place plantain slices in the oil and cook until golden (the plantain should sizzle gently). Work in batches if necessary and drain on paper towels.
- Use the bottom of a glass or bottle to flatten the slices of plantain into disks about 1/3- to 1/2-inch thick.
- Return flattened plantains to the hot oil and fry until a deep golden brown. Drain on paper towels, and sprinkle generously with kosher salt.
- Serve plantain warm with aji sauce for dipping.