If there is one food that takes me back to my Latin roots it is tostones. The idea behind tostones is simple: slices of plantain are fried, smashed, and put back in the pan to fry until golden. Hence, tostones are twice-fried wonders that add crunch and umami to any dish.
Tostones are an appetizer or side dish commonly served with rice and beans. They are sometimes enjoyed with soup or to accompany fried or barbecued meats. Tostones are the perfect substitute for fries when you are in the mood for something different.
What's in a name?
In Puerto Rico and Cuba this plantain dish is known as tostones but places like Costa Rica and Colombia call them patacones.
How To Make Tostones: Cooking Tips
Honestly, making tostones is so easy you'll wonder why you never tried them before. You need only three ingredients: green plantains, oil and salt.
It is important to use green plantains as the yellow ones are too soft and sweet. Tostones are meant to be a savory dish and green plantains are starchy just like potatoes.
You'll want to season the tostones as soon as they come out of the oil. You may use salt but Latinos often use adobo seasoning (which is a spice blend featuring salt, cumin, oregano, black pepper and turmeric).
The only other thing you'll need is something to smash the fried plantain rounds. We use a tostonera, which is a wooden gadget designed specifically for tostones, but you can press the tostones with a small plate. The results will be the same. Promise.
Easy Recipe for Tostones
First, fill a pan halfway with oil. Preheat the oil to 375F. Then you'll peel the plantains. We have a whole tutorial on that. Then slice the plantain into rounds.
Carefully place the plantain rounds into the oil. It is best if they lay flat in the pan. Fry on both sides until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and place over a wooden cutting board or plate.
To smash the plantain with a plate: place the fried plantain round on a cutting board and press down with a small plate. Once it is flattened return it to the oil and fry until golden. Repeat with remaining slices and season with salt or adobo.
Tip: It is best to flatten a few tostones and then place them in the oil for the second round of frying. That way you fry up a big batch versus one or two tostones at a time.
Video Recipe for Tostones
Need to see the process in action? Youtuber Sweet y Salado offers a great video recipe for how to make tostones. She also offers tips on how to peel plantains with ease. Take a look: