Tostones (Fried Plantains)




Introduction: Tostones (Fried Plantains)

About: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!

A garlicky Cuban snack of twice-fried plantains

Step 1: Acquire Plantains

Find some nice, hard, green plantains.

Yellow or brownish plantains are far too sweet for this application; I'll put up another recipe for those later, but they're handled completely differently. A green plantain has much more in common with a potato than a banana.

Step 2: Peel Plantains

Cut the head and tail off of the plantain, then score through the skin lengthwise. Make another cut about an inch away, then peel the strip off. This will be pretty stiff; you may need to use the knife to peel particularly obstinate bits.

Once you get the first strip off, the rest of the peel will be easier to handle. Peel and trim the rest of the skin off, leaving the starchy plantain.

Step 3: Slice

Cut your plantains on the diagonal, making slices ~1/2 inch thick. The steeper the diagonal the larger each piece will be.

You can play with the thickness a bit, but don't go too far off the 1/2" mark.

Step 4: Fry

Heat canola oil in a heavy flat-bottomed pan until it shimmers. Add plantains one-by-one; if they sizzle, the oil is hot enough. Shake the pan a bit to keep the plantains moving; they should float freely in the oil. If they stick, it likely wasn't hot enough.

Flip the plantains after a minute or two, just as they're starting to turn golden but before they begin to brown. We'll be giving them a second fry in a minute, so they'll turn golden-brown soon.

Remove and drain on paper towels.

Step 5: Smash

When your fried plantain slices have cooled enough to handle, it's time for some smashing.

Find a nice big flat item; it can be a big knife, a cutting board, a fry pan, or anything else with a nice flat surface. I'm using a cleaver.

Place your fried and cooled plantain slice on a clean flat surface (counter or cutting board), then place your cleaver (or equivalent) on top. No smashing death from above; just place it gently on top.

Now push or lean on your cleaver until you feel the plantain smush underneath. It should squish down to less than half its original thickness.

Peel it off the cleaver with a spatula, and make a pile as you work through the fried plantains.

Step 6: Fry Again

Drop the squashed plantains into the hot canola oil again, and fry for a minute or two until the edges just begin to turn golden brown.

Flip the plantains, and fry for another minute. The slice should be uniformly golden-brown, but not burnt.

Remove plantains to a paper towel covered plate to cool.

Step 7: Make Garlic Sauce

Tostones are properly served with a tasty sauce of garlic in olive oil. Since we usually end up fighting over the garlic, I've chosen to make more of a garlic/olive oil slurry. Modify your ratios accordingly.

First, grate the garlic into a bowl. Add olive oil and stir, checking your consistency to see what ratio you'd like. Add a bit of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

The raw garlic will be quite spicy; if you want to mellow the garlic flavor cook it for a bit. Either pan-fry it in the olive oil, microwave the garlic, or use roasted garlic for an even more mellow flavor.

I use raw garlic because it bites back- this garlic sauce was strong enough to actually burn my mouth. There were no vampire attacks for days afterward.

Step 8: Serve

Sprinkle your plantain chips with salt, and serve with the garlic sauce.

You can serve the garlic sauce in individual ramekins or shallow communal dipping bowls, or just dot each individual piece with the garlic sauce.

They're best served hot or warm; you can keep the tostones warm in the oven until ready to serve.



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    38 Discussions

    Awesome, and thanks for sharing that fantastic picture!
    It makes me hungry. :)

    my dominican sister-in-law makes her tostones just like this but has never included garlic sauce(we always eat them with ketchup there-everyone does), but the mofongo place la romana, where they live now serves a really GREAT garlic sauce on the side

    This is my batch...what's left of it anyway...Many thanks to the OP for a great recipe!


    Great instructable, especially on the garlic sauce. However, as a side note, the thinness to which you mash the plantain slices is not typical for the spanish culture from which these are derived, and that goes for the many countries that I have spent time in and being hispanic myself. A typical thickness would be about a 1/4 of an inch after you mash them.

    Again I must say, I'm going to get started on that garlic sauce :)

    They look really good. I will try to make them sometime for sure!

    Seriously, that looks amazing. My boyfriend is half Cuban, and he's introduced me to the wonderfulness of plantains. Though I'm used to them being deep fried in large chunks and served sweet with something like vaca frita or ropa vieja. The sweet plantains plus the savory/spicy meat and veggies makes such a good combination. :D

    1 reply

    These guys are a staple on colombia's northern coast
    we called them Patacon here. very delicious with shreded cheese  and chilli.

    1 reply

    That sounds good - are they served in a big pile like nachos?

    I've cooked these several times since reading this Instructable and they are great. If you start with really green plantains, then a pinch of salt and some raw garlic (either fresh crushed or the little jars of diced garlic) is wonderful. I let some of my plantains ripen a bit much (yellow, but not soft and black) so I tried the same technique. It's much tricker to mash them and scrape them off the spatula (try cooking them a little longer in the first step and then letting them cool a bit before mashing them). The garlic doesn't work if they are ripe enough to be sweet, but a good sprinkling of brown sugar in the second cooking step followed by a splash of dark rum (burn off the alcohol a bit) makes them a great desert, particularly if served with ice cream.

    2 replies

    I'm glad you like it! You should post your recipe for sweet plantains- flambe is always good!

    These ideas are both great. I hope someone posts a sweet version and we could have a square-off of some sort. I will keep my eye out for the unripe versions.

    OOOOh, do these look good. I have been looking for this recipe since having them in Jamaica years ago. I see my plaintains were too ripe! Regarding garlic: The secret to success in marriage (12 years now) is liking garlic to the same degree as your spouse.

    1 reply

    I still need to put up that recipe for sweet ripe plantains! Maybe next week. I'd agree with the spouse/garlic comment- we're both huge fans of garlic (and curry, and spice of all types) and are edging up on your count.