Easy-to-make crispy tostones (twice-fried plantains) made with unripe green plantains. A Latin favorite that’s also a classic staple in Cuban cuisine!
Since I was a kid, I’d watch my mom make tostones for the family. There were somehow ALWAYS green plantains in the house. It’s almost like they would magically appear. It was always on the grocery list and they were always part of our weekly meals.
To me, they are the perfect side dish for just about any comfort food. Plus they remind me of home. No one makes them like my mom. Perfectly flattened, crispy, salty. She has a gift. Let me walk you through the process.
What are tostones?
Well, first, let’s talk about what tostones actually are. They are green plantains that are peeled and sliced. Fried. Then flattened and fried again. And suddenly you can’t just eat one!
Yep, tostones are twice-fried plantain slices. And they are my love language. Here’s how you make them.
How To Make Tostones (Fried Plantains)
I used to be v intimidated about frying in my house. Number 1, I didn’t like the smell of fried food in my house and # 2 I respect hot oil. Very much so. But alas, my love for plantains knew no bounds and I had to ignore the deal-breakers. So here we go.
Make sure to buy green plantains. As green as you can find them. Green = unripe. That’s what we want. If they are ripe, you can make sweet plantains but you can’t make fried plantains. Yes, the same vegetable (or is it fruit?) can make two different types of plantains — one sweet and one salty. Crazy, huh?
Once you have the green plantains, peel them and cut them into 2″ slices.
In a deep nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Fry the thick plantain slices for about 5 minutes on all sides. Make sure they are cooked through and golden before removing them from the oil.
Remove the slices from the skillet and drain on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Now, wait a bit before starting the flattening process. I usually use a plantain press wrapped in saran wrap to flatten the plantains. You could use a paper towel folded over or a cup/plate to smash the plantains. You want them to be about 1/2 inch thick.
Fry the now smashed plantains for about 5 minutes in the same skillet, until crisp and golden on both sides. Remove and drain on paper towels. Don’t forget to season them with salt! That’s all folks. Wasn’t that easy?!
Video on How To Make Tostones
Here are a few main dishes to pair with these fried plantains:
- Classic Cuban-Style Arroz Con Pollo
- Cuban-Style Beef Picadillo Recipe
- 30-Minute Arroz Con Salchicha (Cuban-Style Yellow Rice + Sausage)
- 15-Minute Cauliflower Congri (Cuban-Style Black Beans & Cauliflower Rice)
- Easy Cuban Arroz Imperial (Imperial Rice)
You can also make:
- Carne Asada Tostones with Roasted Garlic Chopped Salad
- Healthy Mojo Chicken Caesar Salad with Plantain Croutons (Dairy-Free!)
- Easy Cuban Vegan Bowls with Avocado Ranch Dressing
- Mushroom Swiss Black Bean Toston Burgers
Can’t wait for you to make these for your family!
- 2 large green plantains, peeled and sliced in 2” slices
- 1/2-1 cup vegetable oil, avocado oil, or your oil of choice with a high smoke point, (enough to cover the slices)
- Salt to taste
- In a deep nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the thick plantain slices in the skillet, making sure there is enough oil to cover the slices. See video for more info but overall what you want is enough oil where the very top of the plantains are still visible but the rest of the slice is cooking in the oil.
- Fry slices for about 5 minutes on all sides. Remove and drain on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Using a plantain press or a paper towel folded over, smash the plantains to about 1/2 inch thick.
- Fry the now smashed plantains for about 4-5 minutes in the same skillet until golden brown on both sides.
- Remove and drain on paper towels and season with salt. (You can transfer the oil to an airtight container and reuse it at a later time, if you’d like)