The plantain banana is a fruit native to Southeast Asia that came west through Africa. It is similar in appearance to a banana, the main difference being that plantains should not be eaten raw and are used in cooking more as a vegetable. You can cook it while green or when they have ripened.
The “maduros”, or fried ripe plantains are the perfect accompaniment to many Caribbean and Latin American dishes, but is most common in Cuban cuisine.
The secret to preparation is to use fruit that is very ripe and the skin has turned yellow or almost black.
- 4 ripe plantains, peeled and cut into diagonal pieces ¾ to 1 inch thick
- 2/3 cup oil for frying
- Salt to taste
- ½ lime (opcional)
Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet until the oil is hot. Once the oil is hot, place the pieces of plantain in the pan. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes per side, making sure they do not burn or stick to the pan. The idea is once they are done, they look golden brown on both sides.
Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the plantain pieces with lemon juice and salt. Serve hot.