These Tostones Recipe are made with three ingredients: plantains, salt, and vegetable oil and fried into tostones.
My Tostones Recipe are a twice-fried fantastic snack that pairs very well with rice and beans and chicken. Tostones is a Dominican dish, although it is widely eaten in Cuba as well as Puerto Rico. I first tried them at my Dominican friend's house and I was so obsessed with the texture and how beautifully it pairs with most dishes.
Tostones are typically served as a side dish or snack, often accompanying main meals like rice and beans, grilled meats, or seafood dishes. They can be enjoyed on their own or paired with dipping sauces such as garlic sauce, spicy salsa, or guacamole.
The resulting tostones are savory, crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside, with a mild and slightly sweet flavor. They are a delightful and addictive treat that showcases the versatility of plantains in Latin American and Caribbean cuisine.
- What are tostones?
- Why you will love this recipe
- Why do you soak the plantains?
- Tostones Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Dominican Tostones de Platano
- What to serve with Tostones
- Tostones Recipe Variations
- How to store Tostones Recipe
- Tostones Recipe Top tips
- Dominican Tostones de Platano
- Food safety
What are tostones?
Tostones, also known as patacones, are a popular dish in Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, particularly in countries like Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia. They are made from green unripe plantains, which are large, starchy fruits that resemble bananas but are not as sweet. Tostones are a versatile and delicious side dish or snack.
To make tostones, the unripe plantains are peeled and cut into thick slices or rounds. The plantain slices are then fried twice. The first frying partially cooks the plantains and softens them. The partially cooked slices are then removed from the oil, flattened with a kitchen tool like a tostonera (a wooden press), the bottom of a glass, or even just the palm of your hand.
Why you will love this recipe
- Crispy and delicious: Tostones have a satisfying crunch on the outside while maintaining a tender and starchy interior. The double frying process creates a delightful texture that is irresistible.
- Versatile: Tostones can be enjoyed as a side dish, appetizer, or even as a snack. They pair well with a variety of main courses, such as grilled meats, seafood, or served alongside rice and beans.
- Simple and economical: This recipe requires minimal ingredients and is a great way to use unripe plantains that may otherwise go to waste. It's an affordable and tasty way to enjoy a popular Latin American and Caribbean dish.
Why do you soak the plantains?
By soaking the plantains, it will make the plantain a little easier to fry and smash. It also prevents the tostones from oxidizing and makes a fluffier interior. If you are short on time, you can always cut the tips and cut the plantain lengthwise. Keep the peel on it and wrap with a wet paper towel. Microwave for six minutes. Cut into 1 ½ inch pieces and smash. You will skip frying the first time as well as the soaking if you do it this way.
If tostones seem to be falling apart, you need to make sure you cook them well enough when you fry them the first time. If this happens, return to the oil before pressing them down again.
Tostones Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Frying oil, like vegetable or canola oil
- Sea salt
See recipe card for Tostones Recipe quantities.
How to make Dominican Tostones de Platano
Peel the plantains. Peel and sliced them into ½ inch thick rounds. Put the plantains in a bowl and cover with water for 20 minutes. Drain and pat them dry.
Fry the plantains. In a medium skillet, head an inch of light oil on medium heat. Add the plantains and fry for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden. Transfer them to plate lined with paper towels.
Smash the plantains. Put the plantain in a paper bag or between two pieces of paper towel, and using a spatula, smash them down into flat round discs. If you have a tortilla press, use that instead.
Fry the plantains again. Return the plantains into the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy.
Transfer to another paper towel-lined plate and season with coarse sea salt.
Hint: Try to flatten them as much as possible for a crispier texture.
What to serve with Tostones
- Salsa: Serve tostones with your favorite salsa, whether it's a classic tomato salsa, salsa verde, or a spicy pico de gallo. The vibrant flavors and acidity of the salsa provide a refreshing contrast to the tostones. Check out my Salsa Verde Recipe, my Guajillo Sauce Recipe or my Chile de Arbol Salsa Recipe.
- Ceviche: Tostones make a great accompaniment to ceviche, a dish made with raw fish or seafood marinated in citrus juices. The crispy tostones provide a lovely base for scooping up the flavorful ceviche.
- Rice and Beans: In Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, tostones are often served with rice and beans as part of a complete meal. The tostones add a delightful crunch and texture to the dish, complementing the flavors of the rice and beans.
- Latin American Stews: Tostones can be served alongside Latin American stews like ropa vieja, sancocho, or mondongo. The crispy tostones provide a contrast in texture to the rich and comforting stews.
Vegetable oil: When it comes to frying these tostones, it is best to use a lighter oil.
Plantains: The plantain's ripeness is evidenced by the changing color of its skin. For excellent fried plantains, you will want to choose a plantain with skin that is dull yellow with patches of black or completely black—this is when a plantain is at peak ripeness.
Sea Salt: I love using coarse sea salt for this recipe as it is put on at the very end.
Tostones Recipe Variations
- Seasoned Tostones: Enhance the flavor of the tostones by adding additional seasonings to the plantain slices before frying. Sprinkle them with spices like cumin, paprika, chili powder, or garlic powder to give them a delicious and aromatic twist.
- Sweet Tostones: Instead of using unripe plantains, you can make sweet tostones using ripe plantains. Ripe plantains have a sweeter flavor and softer texture. Cut the ripe plantains into thick slices, fry them until golden brown, and flatten them. Fry them again until crispy. The result is a unique combination of sweetness and crunch.
- Cheesy Tostones: After flattening the partially cooked plantain slices, sprinkle them with grated cheese (such as mozzarella, cheddar, or queso fresco) before frying them for the second time. The cheese will melt and create a delicious cheesy crust on the tostones.
- Spicy Tostones: If you enjoy heat, add some spice to your tostones. Mix spices like cayenne pepper, chili flakes, or hot sauce into the salt used for seasoning the tostones after frying. This will give them a spicy kick that pairs well with dipping sauces or as a standalone snack.
Check out this Chicken Mole.
- Cutting Board and Knife: A cutting board and a sharp knife are necessary for peeling the plantains and slicing them into rounds or thick slices.
- Skillet or Deep Fryer: You'll need a skillet or deep fryer to fry the plantains. The size of the skillet or fryer will depend on the quantity of tostones you're making.
- Tostonera (optional): A tostonera is a wooden press specifically designed for flattening the partially cooked plantains. It helps to achieve a consistent thickness and shape. If you don't have a tostonera, you can use the bottom of a glass or the palm of your hand to flatten the plantains.
- Tongs or Slotted Spoon: Use tongs or a slotted spoon to safely handle and flip the plantains while frying them. These utensils help prevent accidental burns or oil splatters.
- Paper Towels: Keep some paper towels nearby to drain excess oil from the fried tostones. They help absorb the oil and keep the tostones crisp.
- Mortar and Pestle (optional): A mortar and pestle can be used to lightly smash the flattened plantains before frying them for the second time. This step helps create a slightly uneven texture that results in crispier edges.
- Heatproof Plate or Tray: Place the fried tostones on a heatproof plate or tray lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil and cool down.
- Salt and Seasoning Container: Prepare a small container with salt and any desired seasonings or spices to sprinkle over the tostones after frying.
How to store Tostones Recipe
See below for best way to store my Tostones Recipe:
- Cool the tostones: Allow the freshly fried tostones to cool down to room temperature before storing them. This helps prevent moisture buildup and sogginess during storage.
- Store in an airtight container: Transfer the cooled tostones to an airtight container or a zip-top bag. Make sure the container is clean and dry to maintain the tostones' crispness.
- Layer with parchment or paper towels: If you're stacking the tostones in the container, it's a good idea to place a layer of parchment paper or paper towels between each layer to absorb any excess moisture and help preserve their crunch.
- Refrigerate or freeze: If you plan to consume the tostones within a couple of days, store them in the refrigerator. They will stay relatively crisp for up to 2-3 days in the fridge.Alternatively, you can freeze the tostones for longer-term storage. Place them in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. It's advisable to separate the tostones with parchment paper or wax paper to prevent them from sticking together. Properly stored, frozen tostones can last for several weeks.
- Reheating: When you're ready to enjoy the stored tostones, you'll need to reheat them to regain their crispy texture. To reheat refrigerated tostones, preheat your oven to around 350°F (175°C). Place the tostones on a baking sheet and heat them for a few minutes until they are heated through and crispy.For frozen tostones, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating using the same oven method. Alternatively, you can also reheat them in a skillet with a little oil, cooking each side until they're heated and crispy.
Tostones Recipe Top tips
- Choose the right plantains: Select firm, unripe green plantains for making tostones. Ripe plantains will not yield the desired texture and crispness.
- Properly peel the plantains: To peel the plantains, make a lengthwise incision along the ridges of the fruit, being careful not to cut too deep. Use your fingers or a knife to lift the peel and remove it. If the peel is difficult to remove, you can make additional shallow cuts along the ridges to help loosen it.
- Cut the plantains evenly: Slice the peeled plantains into even rounds or thick slices. This will ensure consistent cooking and a uniform texture throughout the tostones.
- Partially cook the plantains: The first frying of the plantains is meant to partially cook them and soften the flesh. Fry them for a few minutes on each side until they become lightly golden but are still firm. Avoid overcooking them, as they should not be fully soft or browned at this stage.
- Flatten the plantains properly: After the first frying, use a tostonera (wooden press), the bottom of a glass, or the palm of your hand to flatten the partially cooked plantains. Apply even pressure to create flat disks of even thickness. Make sure to flatten them gently without completely crushing them.
- Double fry for crispiness: The second frying is crucial for achieving the desired crispiness. After flattening, return the plantains to the hot oil and fry them until they turn golden brown and crispy. Fry them in batches if necessary, allowing enough space for each tostone to cook evenly.
- Drain excess oil: Once the tostones are fried, remove them from the oil using tongs or a slotted spoon and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. This helps absorb any excess oil and prevents them from becoming greasy.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove