These are NOT Bananas

For many years I would stop and pick up a bunch of bananas, gaze over at the plantains and move on. Sometimes they were green ones, sometimes yellow. Once in a while the yellow ones would be so spotted that they were more black than yellow. I would offer a mental “tsk…tsk…tsk” to the produce workers for letting an obviously over-ripe fruit stay on the stand for way too long. I figured they were just like bananas.

I decided to cook with plantains for the first time a couple of years ago. Figuring all plantains to be the same, I grabbed the first bunch that were yellow with as few black spots as possible (just like bananas, right?). I took them home, fried them up and found they were almost inedible. I quickly wrote them off as not for my palate.

But as the months went by, I kept seeing them. Not one to give up on a food that easily, I decided to try them again. This time, I did my research. What did I find? Go for the black spotted ones. The flavor improves and are much better to eat as the spots appear. So I put two in my cart and went to the checkout line. After getting home I looked at my receipt and found the checker had rung up two….bananas.

I found that I really liked these.

I tried them with garlic salt and parmesan. The savory combination worked great but I could see cinnamon sugar going just as well.

All sliced up and ready for the oil.

I know that different foods are best at various oil temperatures. I went with my old standby of 350.


Beautiful and tasty.

Fried Plantains

Prep Time: 5 min | Cook Time: 10 min | Makes: 8


  • 1 quart oil for frying
  • 2 plantains


1. Preheat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat.

2. Peel the plantains and cut them in half. Slice the halves lengthwise into thin pieces.

3. Fry the pieces until browned and tender. Drain excess oil on paper towels.

Nutritional Info:

Nutrition Amount Per Serving (8 total) Calories 152 cal 8% Fat 11.2 g 17% Carbs 14.3 g 5% Protein 0.6 g 1% Cholesterol 0 mg 0% Sodium 2 mg < 1% See More Based on a 2,000 calorie diet


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If you have an interest in participating in DICED! A Ranting Chef competition, the deadline is midnight on February 28, 2013. For full details about the competition, see the original post by clicking here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Fried, Fruit, kosher, Lunch2, Mexican, Recipes, Side Dish, snack, vegan, Vegetarian

Author:The Ranting Chef

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24 Comments on “These are NOT Bananas”

  1. February 21, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    Plantain is a staple where I am from. The ripe ones we would normally fry. The green ones we would boil and eat like we would potatoes. We do the same with green bananas too. I need to write up a popular recipe made with extremely ripe plantains, ginger and chilli. This is known as kelewele, very popular. Google kelewele and I am sure you will find a lot of recipes, that is until I put mine up. πŸ™‚


  2. February 21, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    I love them just fried in butter! Had them with breakfast every morning on my trip to Costa Rica!


  3. February 21, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    I lived in Puerto Rico, where plantains are grown, and eaten in all sorts of ways. One of the local favorites is Mofongo made with green plantains, sliced, fried, and mashed with butter, and garlic.


  4. February 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    I like green plantains sliced, lightly fried in canola oil, smashed into thick “chips” and refried. Then add salt and garlic. YUM!!! Crunchy, savory and great with pernil with white rice and black beans. Guess what I’m having for dinner?!


    • blowingoffsteamandmore
      February 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

      Tostones are my favorite!! I miss all of the awesome Cuban restaurants in South FL. No such luck where we live now!


  5. February 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    I am not a fan of bananas (or plantains) but these sure look good!


  6. February 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    Thank God they are not bananas πŸ™‚ I love plantains, but I don’t like/get sick from bananas :-/


  7. February 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    In Chicago there’s a cuban restaurant called Carnivale that has plantains that are beyond good. Maybe it is the fried in butter that does it.


  8. February 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    I first tried plantains in Baja, California. Now I live in spain they are a regular item on the market stands. I prefer them sweet with honey and creme fraiche.


  9. February 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    If you let these get really ripe, you can cut them in smaller slices and fry them in oil until they almost get chewy from the caramelization. It’s amazing. In Nicaragua, we eat these as a side dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner, drizzled with some crema (not creme fraiche, not sour cream, but the Latin American version you sometimes find at the supermarke). The green ones, we also would fry and make into tostones (not all countries in LatAm refer to it that way, but here in case you haven’t seen it: and then fry some fresh cheese on top and eat it with a pico de gallo-style pickled tomato and onion salad. You have no idea how much my mouth is watering right now. Amazing appetizer.


  10. megbek
    February 21, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Yum! I’m like you: I walk by them every time! Maybe I’ll grab a couple my next go round because this looks delicious πŸ™‚


  11. February 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Those look delicious! Thanks for the adventurous new recipe:)


  12. February 21, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    For Cubans plantains are a big part of our culture and meals. Nice post. Great pics. Now I’m excited about the tostones I’m going to fry up for dinner πŸ˜‰


  13. February 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Great post! Before I moved to south Florida, I had a vague idea of what these were, but now being surrounded with so much Spanish culture, I see them everywhere!


  14. February 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    When I was younger I play in a Jamaican steel drum band called the Ocho Rios. We used to have plantain for our weekly snack. HEAVEN


  15. February 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    My brother in law is from Puerto Rico and I love when he makes us a traditional Puerto Rican feast complete with Tostones….so delish!!


  16. February 21, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    Had some of these, and enjoyed them for the first time, at a local Jamaican/Chinese restaurant. Asked the cook why her plantains were so much better than any I’d had at other places. She said, “Because I don’t cook them ’til they’re ripe.” It makes an incredible difference; like they’re not even the same food. Fried as in your recipe, or pan-fried until they caramelize… mmmmm! πŸ™‚


  17. February 21, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    I do love plantains! I like to get the ones from Whole Foods. They are easy to confuse with bananas, if one has an untrained eye.


  18. February 22, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    The garlic and cheese sounds so good…can’t wait to get to the store to try these again…had always made with honey and butter fried. Thank you for sharing.


  19. February 22, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    I also recommend tostones. It’s just twice fried plantains. Highly recommend with a garlic oil or mayonnaise and ketchup!


  20. February 23, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    I use these a lot at work and the children always ask why I am using banana’s! We make them as little mini wedges (just slices of plantain), with a sprinkle of paprika and bake in the oven with a tiny bit of olive oil. TASTE SENSATION! Thanks for blogging about this under appreciated food! x


  21. February 28, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    Fried bananas is common in the Philippines!Β  We have lots of options in cooking them. Β There’s even a small coffee shop by the name of “kasagingan” where it literally means a place where there’s lots of banana plants.



  22. Ola Fitness
    March 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm #



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