Plantain is one of those ingredients that identifies Caribbean and South American cuisine. Despite how common plantain is for us, for most people it is quite a mysterious ingredient.
Is it a banana? Is it a fruit? Vegetable? What do you do with it? These are some of the common questions I get asked about the humble plantain.
So here’s one of our traditional recipes made with ripe plantain that is a versatile as easy to make.
Venezuelan Plantain Balls or Croquettes are gluten free, healthy and a great alternative to the common potato croquettes or balls.
The key with this recipe is to use super ripe plantains like the ones you see in the picture. The riper the sweeter.
In this recipe I didn’t put any ingredient quantity because you can filled them with anything you want.
I used some left-over black beans from my previous recipe Black Bean Soup, some left-over minced meat and some cheese.
One of the main characteristics of our creole cuisine is the combination of sweet and savoury flavours, and these balls reflect this in all its glory.
PRINT THE RECIPE
- FOR THE BALLS
- 2 medium ripe plantains
- FOR THE FILLING
- I used left-overs of my black bean soup Feta, Cheddar, Mozzarella or any other easy melt cheese, left-overs of minced meat and some cheese
Cut each plantain in half and place them in a pot with boiling water (no added salt to the water)
Leave to cook for 15 minutes, or until the plantains are very soft
Remove the plantains from the water and leave to cool down without removing the skins.
Once they are cool remove the skins and place the flesh in a bowl.
Once all the halves have been peeled rice them with a potato ricer as to create a plantain mash.
If you feel the mash is very "mushy" you can add a couple of tbsp of flour to stiffen the mash a bit.
Start to make each ball making a deep indentation in middle for the filling.
I made my balls mixing the black beans, meat and cheese, putting 2 types of filling on each balls. But you can also make them with just one filling.
Once all the balls are made, pass them through beaten egg and breadcrumbs
Fry the balls in enough oil until they are golden brown
PLANTAIN BALLS WITHOUT BREADCRUMBS
Although I prefer to make these with breadcrumbs because they get a crispy shell and a soft inside, I understand that not everyone appreciated breadcrumbs.
Another option is to not pass them through the egg and breadcrumbs. For this you would need to cook them in shallow frying and handle them very carefully because they are quite delicate without the breadcrumbs.
A second option would be to use panko crumbs, semonila or quinoa flakes instead of breadcrumbs. This also helps if you’re gluten free.
I really hope you like this recipe and that you make it at home. If you would like to see more recipes like this one, please subscribe to my Youtube channel so you won’t miss a thing!
Thank you for reading and watching!