Maduros are the best plantain dish! You know the saying the blacker the berry….the sweeter the juice? Well, that’s totally the key to an amazing sweet plantains dish. This side dish is a MUST for numerous cuisines!

Bananas vs. Plantains

Are plantains like bananas? The short answer is no. Plantains contain a larger amount of starch compared to good ole bananas. Both bananas and plantains come from the same family, but plantains has a thicker skin. Another major difference is plantains are less sweet and are often serve as a savory vegetable. Unlike bananas which are sweet at every stage.

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Plantains are a truly versatile and can be used as either a fruit or vegetable. Plantains are from the Musaceae family. A ripe plantain is harder to develop compared to a regular banana. The reason this occurs is due to the thickens of the outer layer of a plantain. The process can take longer, but ideally would you rather wait for a ripe plantain or banana? It’s best to leave plantains at 70 degrees F to reach ripeness.

Bottom line bananas and plantains may come from the same background, but taste completely different. Bananas can be eaten raw unlike plantains which need to be cooked before indulging. Both provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber, BUT are not inter-changeable in recipes.

Platanos Maduros vs. Non-Ripe (Green) Plantains

Ripe plantains

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Alright so what makes a plantain sweet? When plantains are purchased they appear the same as bananas bright yellow. As time goes by the plantains will begin to darken with spots that appear to be dark brown/black. Once the skin of the plantains are fully blacken in color, they’re ripe and very sweet. Many different cultures use sweet plantains as a side dish or dessert.

What are green plantains used for? So, let’s say you’ve purchased some green/bright yellow plantains and do not want to wait for them to be ripe. What could you make with them? It really just depends on your personal preference. Some of my personal fave recipes with non-ripe plantains include:

  • Mofongo – The first time I ever had Mofongo I was around 8-9 years old visiting my grandfather in Puerto Rico. So, in case you were not aware, mofongo is a Puerto Rican dish. Basically this dish is like mashed potatoes, but instead of using potatoes you use green (non-ripe) plantains. So the process is to fry the plantains, then mash them and season with salt, pepper, broth, olive oil, and garlic. Some people like to serve mofongo with meat or a bean dish with vegetables.
  • Tostones – This dish reminds me of thick potato chips. To make tostones your basically frying plantains slices twice. Usually made with green plantains. Since, tostones are similar to chips there’s numerous ways to enjoy them. Can dip them into incredible sauces like mojo or can serve them with salami or anything else your heart desires.

Making Maduros

frying the maduros

It’s a pretty straight forward process to make sweet plantains. First, add a significantly large amount of vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat the skillet. Next, cut off the ends of the plantains on both sides. Then peel off the skin of the plantains (try cutting a slit down the side of each plantain). Cut them diagonally into 1/4 inch thick slices. Fry on each side for 1.5 minutes. Next lower the heat and allow to cook for an additional 2-5 minutes. Remove the plantains from the heat and drain using paper towels. Season with sugar and/or salt and serve immediately.

Read more: What To Do With Unripe Apples | Coral's Blog – Food Blog – Cooking Guide

close-up of the maduros aka fried plantains

Interested in more dishes? Check out the links below.

  • Sheet pan Beef fajitas
  • Tacos de Carne Asada
  • Taco Casserole
  • Arroz con Pollo

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