I had already given you a lesson in making tostones when I shared my Tostón Sandwich with all of you. This time, I want to show those of you who are not familiar with tostones – the traditional way of making them… well, almost traditional because like most of you outside the Latin communities, I do not own a “tostonera” – the implement used to mash the tostones into its traditional shape. Funny I do not own one, because my dad sells them wholesale. As they say in Spanish, “en casa del herrero, cuchillo de palo”.
I specify these are Plantain Tostones because tostones can be made from the traditional plantains, or also out of breadfruit. Tostones (any kind) are a great side dish to many dishes I have shared with you here… like pastas, rices or even to use as a base for a delicious Antipasto.
Here’s how… you need to start with Green Plantains. Optimally, they need to be large, but very green still. Here is a picture to give you an idea of the differences in ripeness.
1 green plantain, peeled and sliced in 1-inch rounds Canola oil, for frying Garlic Salt for sprinkling on top after they’re fried
- In a small skillet, pour about ½ inch of canola oil over medium-high heat. Check if the oil is ready by inserting the back end of a wooden spoon. When bubbles form around the spoon, the oil is ready to fry.
- This is how you peel a green plantain… chop off the ends. Make 3-4 slits from top to bottom ends and with the help of a knife and your finger, take the peel off. Just like with green bananas, if the plantain is too green, the peel will be difficult to take out and refrigeration will not help.
- When the plantain is peeled, cut it into rounds about 1 inch thick.
- Place about 3-4 plantain pieces in the oil and start cooking. Do not be tempted to place all plantain pieces in even if they fit… why? Because you need to cook them partially, smash them and then refry them. If you fry them too much the first time, they might be hard to smash. You do not want to over-fry them that first time, so the easiest way is to work in small batches. If you have someone helping you in the kitchen, you might be able to get adventurous enough to put in a few extra…
- Take 2 plates, a salad plate and a dinner plate. Place a plantain piece on the dinner plate and with the bottom side of the salad plate SMASH the plantain piece down. Peel the tostón piece off with a spatula (it probably stuck to either the bottom of the top plate) to prevent it from breaking apart and return it to the frying oil. Repeat with all plantain pieces.
- At this point… you can either store them in freezer bags and freeze them until you’re ready to eat them or finish them to eat immediately by frying them for the second and last time.
- Fry the tostones until they’re golden brown and crispy.
- Take them out of the oil onto a plate lined with a paper towel to catch the oil drippings. Sprinkle with garlic salt as soon as they come out of the oil.
You can also eat them with some butter on top – that’s how my dad likes them…