If you happen to be Latino(a) chances are you are eating tostones a few times per week. Tostones are fried plantains. They are actually fried twice!
Plantains are the nutritional staple of most of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. It’s a subsistence crop, that fortunately grows all year round. They can be eaten green or ripe. Tostones are made with green plantains. They are starchier and tougher than ripe plantains, but they are absolutely delicious! When I was growing up, they were one of the few food items I ate. Yes, I was a picky eater.
Tostones can be eaten as an appetizer or as a side to a main meal. The taste? Starchy. The texture? Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. Now, depending on where you are from, you might dip them or eat them plain, just salted. In the Caribbean, for example it’s common to eat them with mojo (pronounced moho). Yes, in Spanish the j has an h sound. Mojo is also used a marinade for chicken, beef, or pork. Mojo is a citrus sauce made with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. It’s so flavorful. In Panama where I’m from, children and adults like to eat them with ketchup. I know it’s one of those things! For this post, I developed an avocado cream dressing. Think of it as an extra creamy guacamole.
Probably the hardest thing about this recipe is going to be peeling the plantain. The skin is a bit thick, so you need to be careful. For starters you want to slice about 1 1/2 ” off each end. Next, using a sharp paring knife carefully score all the way down the length of the plantain. Do this in two or three different spots. Pry off the skin and peel.
By the way, in Panama for some reason, they call tostones “patacones“. Why? I am not really sure, but all my Latin American friends find this rather amusing.
- 2 green plantains
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- vegetable oil for frying
- Avocado Cream Sauce:
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ tsp. Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
- ¼ tsp. chili powder
- ¼ cup sour cream
- To make the avocado cream sauce: Dice avocados, place them in the food processor with all the ingredients. Process on high. The consistency should be creamy. Chill in the refrigerator.
- To make the tostones: Slice off about 1" off each end.
- Score down the length of the plantain with a paring knife. Do this in two separate spots.
- Cut 1" pieces. Fry in enough vegetable oil, to cover the pieces, until they begin to turn golden.
- Remove and drain on paper towel.
- Using the bottom of a glass press down, and sprinkle with salt. Fry again until golden brown.
- Serve immediately with the avocado cream sauce.