Savory Fried Plantains

April 4, 2012
West African Style Savory Fried Plantains Recipe | Fake Food Free

African is one cuisine that I’m not all that familiar with. Soon after we moved back to Kentucky we learned that a place opened up nearby serving West African food. As you can imagine, I was intrigued, and over the past month or so I’ve finally had the opportunity to try it.

After two visits, I already have a favorite dish – the fried plantains. I’m sure that seems a bit unexciting. You’ve likely tried plantains in African, Latin or Caribbean dishes, and if so, you’ve probably had them fried.

But these savory fried plantains are different.

A recipe for Savory Fried Plantains

 

Every time that I’ve had a plantain it has been prepared in a way that adds sweetness to a dish. These plantains are topped with sautéed tomatoes and onions making them much more savory than sweet. The plantains themselves do have that sweet banana flavor, but it’s balanced by the acidic tomatoes and the small amount of added salt.

It’s a simple dish, but completely different and delicious at the same time. I’ve done my best to recreate it without a recipe. This one is right on target. I’ve made it with frozen and fresh tomatoes, and both versions turned out well.

Plantains on Fake Food Free

If you’ve never had a plantain, check for them in the exotic fruit area of the supermarket or at an international store. In US supermarkets I usually find them near the mangos and coconuts. Use one that is fully ripe and almost black on the outside. If you buy them early they will ripen on your counter over time, just like a banana. The ones I’ve had ripen a little more slowly, though.

Plantain for Savory Fried Plantains

I’ve eaten these plantains as a meal, but they would also be great as a side with something off the grill!

Savory Fried Plantains

Makes:  1 to 2 servings

What you’ll need:

1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 plantain, peeled and cut into ¼ inch slices
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
Salt to taste

How to make it:

Add the oil to a skillet, and heat to medium-high. Once the oil has melted, place the plantain slices in a single layer in the skillet, cut side down. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until browned and flip. Cook 1-2 minutes more until they are softened, but not mushy. Remove the plantain from the skillet and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.

Fried Plantains

Add the tomatoes and onions to the hot skillet. Cook about 3 minutes, until the onions are softened and the tomatoes begin to break down. Salt to taste.

Place the plantains in a bowl and top with the onions and tomatoes to serve. 

Savory Fried Plantains
 
 
 
 
 
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  • emily (a nutritionist eats) April 4, 2012 at 7:20 am

    I’ve been wanting to make plantains since having them often in Haiti! (Even though I don’t particularly love the texture)

  • Michelle @ Find Your Balance April 4, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Yum. I haven’t made plantains in a long time, or even had ’em in a restaurant. Love them!

  • Lori April 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Emily – These are super easy. I’m sure they’ll bring back great memories! 🙂

    Michelle – Me too! I need to make them more often.

  • Candy April 5, 2012 at 3:47 am

    We love fried plantains but I’ve never had them in a more savory preparation. The restaurant you are talking about (I think we only have one West African restaurant in this area) is just a couple blocks away from my office and I keep meaning to try it out. I’ve heard it’s really good!

  • Cathleen April 5, 2012 at 6:08 am

    Oh what a great idea! So simple! I love it!

  • Lori April 6, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Candy – Yes, it Sal’s West African Grill. You should definitely go!

    Cathleen – Super easy! 🙂

  • Mindy April 6, 2012 at 5:52 am

    I love fried plantains, but have never had the savory version. Somehow I want a little sauce and rice with this…I’ll have to play with it! 🙂 And what’s the name of the West African restaurant? I definitely want to take my kids there!

  • Lori April 6, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Sav’s West African Grill on Limestone. Sorry, I had a typo in my response to Candy above!