A common ingredient in Jamaican Cuisine is Plantain Chips. These are actually very easy to prepare and delicious.
Plantains look a lot like the bananas we are familiar with and usually peel and eat raw. Although they are related to this kind of banana, Plantains are not eaten raw, but are cooked. Plantains can be found in most grocery stores in the produce section. Choose a Plantain with a yellow skin which indicates it is ripe and has become somewhat soft and sweet.
To prepare Plantain Chips, peel the Plantain by first cutting off the ends then slice through the peel and remove it in segments.
In preparation for cooking, you may either split the fruit of the Plantain lengthwise and then cut into smaller segments or simply slice it crosswise. Sprinkle salt over the slices then fry for 10 – 15 minutes in hot oil, turning frequently to soften. Be careful not to burn them, which can be easily done due to their high sugar content.
Once the pieces have softened, remove from the oil and press them flat using a spoon, rolling pin, or other implement. Return the flat pieces to the hot oil and fry for an additional 10 minutes, or until crispy. Be sure to turn them while cooking so they brown evenly. Remove from the oil, drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with salt.
These make a delicious snack, appetizer or a delightful complement to your authentic Jamaican meal.
If you like this article, check out my previous post on Jamaican Cuisine about making Jamaican Rice and Peas.