Making plantain chips at home is actually quite easy, and once you try them, you’ll never want to buy the ready-made from the store again. All you need are a few basic ingredients: green plantains, oil for frying, and salt. The key is choosing plantains that are still firm and starchy, not too ripe. Read on to learn about fried plantain chips recipe.
What are Plantain Chips?
What exactly are plantain chips? They’re crispy, salty snacks made from green plantains that have been sliced, seasoned, and fried. Plantains are starchy bananas that are cooked or fried and eaten. Unlike sweet bananas, plantains have a mild nutty flavor when ripe and a tangy, savory flavor when green.
You may have heard plantain chips called by other names like “chifles,” “mariquitas,” “platanitos,” or “banana chips.” Nutritionally, plantain chips provide carbohydrates, fiber, and various minerals like potassium, magnesium, and manganese. However, they are also high in fat from frying, so enjoy them in moderation.
The Origin of Plantain Chips
Plantains have been around for centuries, dating back to Africa and Asia. However, plantain chips didn’t gain popularity until the 1500s when Spanish explorers brought plantains to the Caribbean and Latin America. Locals soon realized that green plantains could be sliced and fried into delicious chips.
The Spread of Plantain Chips
Plantain chips spread from the Caribbean to West Africa, Central America, and South America. Each region developed its own unique recipes and flavors. For example, Caribbean recipes often use lime juice or chili pepper, while West African recipes incorporate spices like chili, ginger, and garlic.
Today, plantain chips have become popular all over the world. Many grocery stores in North America, Europe, and Australia now have plantain chips or platanos fritos. Homemade plantain chips have also gained popularity, as plantains have become more readily available and recipes are easily found online.
Whether you buy pre-made chips or make your own, plantain chips can be enjoyed on their own as a crunchy snack. They have a slight banana-like sweetness but tend to be sturdier than potato chips. Plantain chips are naturally gluten-free, high in potassium, and contain resistant starch, so you can feel good about indulging in this tasty treat.
How to make Fried Plantain Chips
Once you have plantains either ripened or unripened, it’s time to make chips! This crispy snack is delicious.
Fried Plantain Chips Recipe
To make your own plantain chips, you’ll need just a few basic ingredients:
- 3-4 ripe plantains, peeled
- Vegetable or canola oil for deep frying
- Salt to taste
Here’s how to fry up a batch of plantain chips:
- Cut off the ends of each plantain.
- Wash and Peel the plantains.
- Cut plantains in half crosswise.
- Slice plantains lengthwise into planks 1/8 inch thick, or Slice the plantains into 1/4-inch thick rounds.
- Fill a large, deep cast iron or stainless steel skillet halfway with oil.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (175°C).
- Carefully add plantain slices to the hot oil in batches to avoid overcrowding. Fry until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer chips to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Season with salt immediately. Continue with the remaining plantain slices.
- Let the chips cool slightly, then serve and enjoy your crispy plantain chips!
Store any leftover chips in an airtight container. Be very careful when frying and handling the hot oil. Never leave the hot oil unattended. Keep a lid nearby in case of oil fires, and always exercise caution.
That’s the basic process for frying up a batch of delicious plantain chips.
Tips for Getting Crispy, Crunchy Plantain Chips
To get deliciously crispy and crunchy plantain chips, follow these tips:
Slice the plantains evenly and thinly
Use a sharp knife, mandoline, or slicer to cut the plantains into even slices, about 1/8 of an inch thick. Thinner slices will get crisper than thick ones.
Soak in cold water
While it is not necessary, you can soak the plantain slices in cold water for at least 30 minutes. This removes excess starch and prevents them from getting too dark when frying. Pat dry completely with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel before frying.
Double fry at the right temperature
Heat several inches of vegetable, canola, peanut, or coconut oil in a deep pot or Dutch oven to between 350 to 375°F. Fry the plantain slices in batches so you don’t crowd the pot, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Let the oil come back to temperature, then fry again in batches until crisp and golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes more.
Drain and season well
Remove the chips immediately and drain on paper towels. Generously sprinkle with salt to taste. You can customize them by adding extra seasonings like chili powder, paprika, or fresh lime juice.
Storing Your Delicious Plantain Chips
Once your plantain chips have cooled, properly storing them will keep them fresh and crunchy for up to 1 week.
Transfer the chips to an airtight container, like a zipper bag, plastic container, or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure all excess air is removed before sealing to prevent oxidation and staleness. For the crispiest chips, store them at room temperature, away from direct heat or sunlight.
While plantain chips are best served and eaten within a week for peak freshness, they can last up to 2 weeks when stored properly in an airtight container.
Your homemade plantain chips make a perfect snack on their own or a unique appetizer for serving guests.
And just like that, you have a delicious snack to enjoy! Homemade plantain chips are so much better than anything from the store. You can control how thick or thin you slice them, how much salt you add, and make sure they are perfectly crispy every time. Once cooled, store your chips in an airtight container or bag. Making plantain chips at home is so easy and rewarding. Give this recipe a try; your taste buds will thank you!