Sweet Fried Plantains (also known as Maduros) are a popular Puerto Rican dessert and snack, made with fried brown plantains.
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If you’ve been a reader here at Salima’s Kitchen for long, you know my family loves plantains. They are a super traditional ingredient used in all kinds of ways in Puerto Rico. Part of what I love about them is how versatile they are.
Depending on how ripe your plantains are you could make something sweet and tangy (like these maduros) or savory and salty like tostones.
The ingredient list for this recipe could not be simpler. You will need:
- Brown plantains
- Cooking oil
See recipe card for quantities.
Start by peeling your plantains and cutting diagonally into 1 inch sections. Preheat your oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, gently add in your plantain chunks, making sure not to crown the pan too much. Your pan should have enough oil to almost cover the slices, so add more if needed.
Fry the slices for 5-8 minutes, making sure to flip them every few minutes until golden brown all around.
Remove the slices and cool on a paper towel lined plate. Enjoy!
How to peel a plantain
At first glance, you might think peeling a plantain would be similar to peeling a banana. You would be wrong.
The peel is actually much thicker and more durable (especially in green plantains) than a traditional banana peel.
For this reason, there are a few additional steps that can be helpful to get it off. Here’s how I learned from my mom:
- Start by cutting off the tips of the plantain.
- Next, being careful with your knife, score from one tip of the plantain to the other, cutting just through the peel and not into the flesh of the fruit. Do this on both sides.
- The scoring should make it easier to peel off the skin, and just like that you’ve done it!
As you can tell from the ingredients, you really don’t need much to make these sweet fried plantains.
That said, there are some fun ingredients I like to sprinkle on at the end to fancy them up a bit when I’m feeling adventurous.
Here are some variations:
- Sugar - add a light sprinkle of sugar when your maduros are fresh out of the fryer for an extra sweet kick.
- Cinnamon - cinnamon definitely has a place in my heart for both Puerto Rican and Moroccan cuisine. This spice compliments plantains really well and can be sprinkled over top just like sugar!
- Honey - if you’re trying to cut out refined sugar, a drizzle of honey can be a fun and healthier alternative to try.
When preparing to make these, it’s really important to use the right kind of pan. When frying anything, I encourage using a high quality heavy bottomed pan when possible.
I would try to avoid using any kind of nonstick and instead lean towards materials like cast iron, stainless steel, ceramic or copper.
Also remember to stick to oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds when frying anything.
When it comes to fried food, I’m a strong believer that it needs to be eaten the day of, fresh out of the oil.
So if you’re planning to make these ahead, I wouldn’t recommend it. Because the plantains are ripe and brown, they shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to fry up.
Make them fresh and enjoy them like a true Puerto Rican 😊