One of my favourite Venezuelan ingredients are plantains, whether they are ripe and sweet or hard green savoury. No matter their ripe stage we have a recipe of every type of plantain, and they are all delicious and gluten free! And this Sweet Fried Plantain with Feta cheese and Coriander recipe is the perfect introduction to this wonderful and delicious ingredient that should be in every kitchen.
WHAT IS PLANTAIN
Plantain could be a strange ingredient in Europe, but in Latin america, the Caribbean and Africa is a common fruit used every day, and the most common way of cooking it is fried.
The question that I often get the most is How to Cook Plantain, but there are so many ways to use this fruit that there isn’t just one single way of cooking it, but, this sweet fried plantain recipe is definitely a good starting point and introduction to this wonderful ingredient.
Sweet fried plantain is truly delicious especially if combined with something savoury like in this case Feta cheese and Coriander.
And in my house plantain is always on the menu no matter what dish I’m cooking! Is kind of an addictive flavour I have to have when eating.
And I know some people might say eating fried banana doesn’t really strike as the nicest thing to eat, but boy when they try it, plus is not really a banana as such.
WHAT DOES PLANTAIN TASTES LIKE
Plantain has two main flavours, sweet and savoury astringent depending on its ripe stage.
When the plantain is yellow it means is ripe, much like banana. Its flavour is sweet and when cooked is soft.
This is the stage where it has most of its use because you can make countless of recipes like fried, cakes, balls, mash, plantain lasagna and more.
The ripe the plantain is the sweeter it will be. When its skin has black spots or specially totally black this means that is fully ripe and needs urgent cooking, perfect for making soft dishes like mashing it for balls or plantain lasagna.
Green plantain is when the fruit is unripe. At this stage the flavours is very savoury and quite astringent.
For this stage we use it to make Tostones (plantain chips – Recipe soon in the blog) and as potato substitute in soups and broths.
PRINT THE RECIPE
Perfectly ripe sweet plantains fried and served with salty Feta cheese and fresh Coriander leaves. Sweet plantains are a great side dish to any meal, especially if served where the sweet and salty flavours complement each other.
- Fresh ripe plantain
- Vegetable oil
- Feta cheese
- Fresh Coriander
Cut both ends of the plantain and cut in half
With a knife make an incision on the skin from top to bottom
With your hands or knife peel the skin as you were peeling a banana
Once peeled slice each half
Place the slices in a skillet or pan with hot vegetable oil and fry until golden brown
Once brown on one side turn each slice so they fry on the other side
When the plantain is brown remove from the pan and place on a plate with kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil
1. The more yellow the plantain is the ripe it is and the sweeter it will be. It will also take less time to brown, so keep an eye on them.
2. Serve it with any savoury meal either as a side dish or with the main plate of food
3. I like to eat it with Feta cheese and fresh Coriander as I like the combination of the sweetness, savoury and fresh of the 3 ingredients together. It gives it another dimension of the plantain.
WATCH HOW TO COOK PLANTAIN
From this basic recipe you can do countless of dishes with plantains, like my Venezuelan Filled Plantain Balls, another household favourite!
In the next months I will be posting more recipes with plantains, but for now this is a delicious way of eating sweet fried plantain and a good introduction to the world that is plantain, I definitely urge you to try it before judging!
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PLANTAIN AND BANANA
Although both come from the same banana family they are two different fruits. Plantains are starchy, low in sugar, have thicker skin and need to be cooked before eating, whether ripe or unripe green.
Bananas on the other hand are higher in sugar, are eaten raw, cannot be eaten when green, have thinner skin and normally don’t hold their shape when cooked because their flesh is much softer than plantains.
WHERE TO BUY PLANTAINS
Normally you can find them in any Caribbean, African or Latinamerican shop. In Spain there are some shops that sell them as “Macho”, but normally everyone know them with their original name “plantain”.
In the UK I find them in Indian off licence, and in Brighton Taj sells them and shops in Portland and London Road sell them.
If you fancy cooking something different this weekend, then I really urge you to try sweet fried plantains with Feta cheese and Coriander it will take your taste buds for a trip to the Caribbean!
See you next week with another delicious dish. Make this recipe? Leave your comments below!!
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