Pan Fried Plantain Chips





Introduction: Pan Fried Plantain Chips

About: Like to solve everyday life little problems. I'm curious about things I don't know much. Like to do things that require and allow creativity.

When I saw a picture of the chips for the first time, I was immediately intrigued by my own questions: “Why these banana chips are called plantain chips?” “What’s plantain?” “What’s the difference?” After consulting internet, I found:

Plantains are not bananas.
Plantains are starchy, low in sugar.
Plantains are high in dietary fiber.
Plantains are usually fried or baked.
Especially the last two characteristics are what I’m after recently.

I also found my local grocery store and Mexican grocery store have plantains. I immediately bought a bunch of it, pan fried a small batch of plantain chips, packed the chips in my child’s school lunch/snack box. It came home with not even a single crumb. I know I have found another jade of snack to make without stopping and to show and tell.

2 Plantains
4 Tbsp safflower oil (or enough to form a thin layer covering the bottom of frying pan)
Salt to taste

Nonstick pan (I used Calphalon 1876986 Contemporary Nonstick Panini Pan, 13.75-Inch)

Paper towels
Cutting board
Cookie sheet
Slotted spoon or chop sticks (my preference)

Prep. time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 – 45 minutes (depending on how many batches)
Cleaning time: 2 minutes
Serves: 4 - 6

Steps to make these chips are in the following:

Step 1: Peel Off the Skin

Remove both ends of the plantains with a stainless-steel knife, slit the skin of each plantain lengthwise along its natural ridges, and then peel off skin.

Step 2: Slice the Plantains

Slice the plantains as thin and as consistent as possible. Eat the first slice. You can slice them to round or oval shape, whichever your hear desires.

After-Note: Yes, I think you can slice them too thin. You'll get a good sense of the perfect thickness after a couple of frying trials.

Step 3: Soak the Slices

Accept my apology for tricking you with the first slice of plantain. Hope you didn’t like the taste of raw plantain.
Place the slices in a bowl of salted ice water for about 30 minutes. I used 3 tsp salt to 3 cups of water.

Step 4: Drain and Dry the Slices

Drain them. Line a large cutting board and baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towel. Place plantain slices on paper towel in a single layer. Pat them dry with another paper towel on top side. (Don’t throw away the wet paper towels. Hang them to dry to use again.)

Step 5: Pan Fry the Chips

Add oil to nonstick frying pan, enough to form a thin layer covering the bottom of the pan. Turn on stove. Heat the oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Place the first batch of plantain slices in one singer layer in the bottom of the pan to fry for about 5 minutes, turning once when the pan side of chips turns golden brown. Fry them until they are golden brown on both sides.

Note: I used a sandwich press pan. I love the marks this pan leaves on food. Also my intention was to tame down the chips if some of them bulge up. Whether that happens depends on a number of factors I think, such as, thickness of the chips, temperature and amount of oil.

Step 6: Serve the Chips

I got inspiration from the recipe which involves double deep frying here: which says “salt and serve while hot. Pass hot pepper vinegar to shake over the chips”. I tried them both hot and cold, with and without salt, with and without dip or sauce. I liked them both hot and cold. I liked them without salt because it’s healthier, and I like their natural mildly sweet flavor of a little bit chest nut, a little bit banana, and a little bit potato flavors in them. My family likes these chips too. This will be one of the top snack recipes in my recipe collection.

After-Note: The chips in the boat dish in the Introduction tasted sweeter and crisper than the chips in the big oval plate, they didn't bulge up either, stayed flat during frying. This has something to do with following factors I think:

1 Ripeness, the riper the Plantains, the sweeter and crisper the chips.

2 Temperature, the higher the frying temperature, the crisper the chips. Safflower oil is relatively stable, can be heated hot without smoke. The closest substitue may be corn oil. Low heat/low temperature/long cooking time may also have something to do with chips bulging up during frying. Don't give them the chance, unless it's the opposite case :-).

3 Thickness, may have something to do with bulging up of the chips during frying. The chips in the boat dish were almost the perfect thickness. I suspect the chips in the oval plate were sliced too thin, not that I designed my experiment this way to find out how thin can be too thin. A case of unintentional accident leads to useful finding.

4 Salt amount, can the salt amount during soaking affect sweetness of the chips? Theoretically yes.

This is definitely an interesting multi-variables food science study. Interesting enough to make me keeping on to master the art of it. You are called to join in!        

Step 7: Try This Recipe. If You Like It, Vote Me in the Snack Food Contest. Thank You.

Snack Food

First Prize in the
Snack Food



    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    plantains are a type of banana.

    maybe use a mandolin to slice evenly and consistently. most can be adjusted to the thickness you like.

    I've heard that plantain is best eaten when the skins turn black...that's when they're the sweetest. is this true?

    1 reply

    It is sweetest when the skins turn black but it almost has a rotten smell/taste to me by then. The best way I think is to feel, a little bit firmer than ripen banana is good for making chips, if you mash it to use it, then a little bit softer than ripen banana is good.

    I am from Puerto Rico but, live in Ga. now and crave Palntain Chips all of the time. They are so delicious and can be expensive for a very small bag. So, I have been on a quest to make my own. I have been using a slicer but, it gets them either too thin or too thick. Did you use a slicer to slice the Plantains? If so, which one and what is the width of your Plantain Chips? Thank you.

    1 reply

    No, I didn't think of using a slicer since it's soft. I have used hand held home kitchen slicer on potato and sweet potato, it didn't do a good job. I saw other people's potato and sweet potato chips made with hand held home kitchen slicer, they aren't any better. I concluded it's not possible to make potato chips consistent thickness at home like the industry chips. But it's possible with plantain because it's soft. I used the kitchen cutter I use almost on everything I cut in the kitchen. Of course it takes a little time, not bad at all. Frying is still the most time consuming step. Hope this helps.

    Great 'ible - they look awesome! When I was on the Island of Roatan we ate a LOT of plantains...I'm glad you mentioned point #1 above about ripeness because we had them cooked fresh several different ways and they were very much like potatoes. Then we had some really ripe ones fried just like you have done here and they were sweet - more like banana chips. It might have just been our cook, but I sure liked them any old way they happen to land on my plate!

    1 reply

    Do you recall what kind of spices were used when you had plantains on the Island of Roatan? I tried frying thick slices to crisp on outside and soft inside. They were good enough for me with no spices. Then I read somewhere people use garlic. somehow I don't have a strong motivation to try garlic on them.
    I haven't made banana chips. The store bought banana chips are thicker, hard on teeth (I think they are dried not fried). Maybe I sliced my plantain chips quite thin, they are crisp, very easy on teeth.

    How sweet! It happens I love the marks grills leave on food. I can't wait for my Griddler to arrive. I'll probably try to mark every food I make!

    Oh, these look like so much fun! Congrats on winning the snack contest! You deserve it with this unique recipe!

    1 reply

    I have been picking up plantains every time I go to grocery ever since I first found them. Thanks Instructables too for the motivation for me to do it!

    this looks so good, i can't wait to try it. my cuban grandmother used to love these :)

    1 reply

    Thanks for the comments. Try some avocado dip to go with them too.

    lovely! Raw plantain (yuk)