Fried Sweet Plantains (also known as Platanos Maduros) are a popular Puerto Rican dish that made with 2 ingredients: oil & brown plantains. They are commonly served as a side dish, snack, or dessert and are known for their naturally sweet taste & creamy texture.
This post may contain affiliate links; this means if you purchase an item linked, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Click here to learn more about my disclosure policy.
If you’ve been a reader here at Salima’s Kitchen for long, you know my family loves plantains.
This fruit is a super versatile and traditional ingredient used in all kinds of ways in Puerto Rican cuisine. We use these fried sweet plantains in other popular plantain recipes like pastelón and piononos.
This is because the natural sweetness they provide goes well with many dishes, both sweet and savory.
If this is your first time trying them, you'll be impressed by the depth of flavor that comes from frying one simple ingredient. They have a sweet caramelized richness, with subtle savory notes and deliciously crispy edges.
The ingredient list for this recipe could not be simpler. You will need:
- Brown plantains
- Cooking oil
See recipe card for quantities.
Here's how I make my platanos maduros:
What Makes these Plantains Sweet?
The difference between a sweet plantain and a starchier, more neutral tasting one is all in the ripeness.
You'll notice the longer they have to ripen, the darker in color they turn. First they're green, then yellow, brown, and finally black!
The darker the color, the sweeter the fruit.
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. A knife is required to open this fruit.
For this reason, there are a few additional steps that can be helpful to get the job done. 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 fried sweet plantains. They're delicious on their own with a light sprinkle of flakey salt!
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 sweet 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 it comes to fried food, I’m a strong believer that it needs to be eaten the day of, fresh out of the oil. Plus, with these platanos maduros, there are usually never any leftovers.
If you’re hoping to make these in advance, 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 😊