Tostones are a twice-cooked preparation of unripe plantains native to Latin American cuisine. Unlike ripe plantains which cook quickly and are sweet, an unripe plantain is savory and requires two rounds of cooking. High in microbiome-friendly fiber, tostones are a delicious snack food or side dish to a South of the Border feast.
I used to pass over unripe green plantains until the day our local Mexican market was out of the yellow-black ripe ones. Thinking I would give the unripe plantains a try, I sought advice from the store clerk who conferred the wise tradition of soaking unripe plantain slices in salt water prior to cooking, a technique omitted from recipes you’ll read online.
- Green, unripe plantain
- Coconut oil
- Unrefined Salt
1. Green plantains are tough to peel and cut, so use a sharp knife and a firm cutting board to cut one-inch chunks after peeling. Cover in salt water and soak for 3-4 hours. Drain, then arrange the chunks on a stainless baking pan and bake at 375°F until soft, about 45 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the firmness of the plantain.
2. Let the plantain chunks cool slightly until they are comfortable to handle and flatten each piece between two plates or with a kitchen press until they are about 1/2 inch thick, or leave smaller pieces unflattened. On the stovetop, heat a thin layer of coconut oil in a sauté pan on medium heat and wait until the oil is hot before transferring plantain pieces to the pan.
3. After one minute, nudge each piece with a fork to prevent sticking and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden brown before flipping each piece to cook on the other side. Plate, salt to taste, and serve with guacamole.