These Fried Plantains are irresistible! Ripe sweet plantains are fried until golden brown with a caramelized texture and sweet flavor that melts in your mouth.
Fried Sweet Plantains is a very simple, very traditional Latin American side dish. It adds a natural sweetness to any main dish! With just 2 ingredients and 15 minutes to put together from start to finish, this super low maintenance.
The Heart and Soul of Fried Plantains
Cuisine Inspiration: This recipe takes a page out of the vibrant and flavorful Caribbean cookbook, bringing a tropical twist right to your kitchen.
Primary Cooking Method: We’re talking about frying, baby! These sweet plantains hit the pan and come out transformed, with a caramelized exterior and a soft, sweet interior.
Dietary Info: While plantains are naturally gluten-free and vegetarian, this dish does make use of butter, making it not vegan unless you decide to swap in your favorite plant-based butter.
Key Flavor: The dominant flavor here is the natural sweetness of the ripe plantains, enhanced and deepened by the frying process.
Skill Level: Pretty Easy!
- Ripe and Ready: Using just-ripe plantains ensures the perfect balance between sweetness and structure, giving you slices that hold up in the pan but melt in your mouth.
- Butter Me Up: Cooking these in butter adds an extra layer of richness.
- Crispy Edges: The frying process gives each slice a delightful crispy edge.
- Versatile Snacking: Serve these up as a side, a dessert, or a sweet snack.
- Quick and Easy: Super short ingredient list and an even shorter cook time.
How do I buy sweet plantains?
The big secret for making really tasty fried sweet plantains is in how to buy them. Usually, grocery stores will sell plantains while they’re still green (or yellow if you’re lucky) which means you’ll need to plan ahead before you can make fried sweet plantains.
To make fried sweet plantains, the plantains need to be very ripe, meaning mostly black like in the image below. If they are still green, or just yellow, the plantains will not be sweet after you fry them. You’ll need to wait for the green/yellow plantains to ripen, or turn black, sitting on your counter several days before you can make sweet plantains.
With this in mind, every time I go to the store I buy at least a few green plantains, and just leave them be until they’re good to go. This way I always have them at the house, at different ripeness levels/color stages, and we can eat them pretty often.
Now that you know what to look for in a plantain, it’s time to make them!
How to make Sweet Fried Plantains
- Peel the plantains and slice them about an inch thick on the diagonal
- Melt butter on a skillet and start to fry the plantains
- Add some cold butter every now and then to avoid over browning the butter in the pan
- Using kitchen tongs, flip the plantains when they are golden
- Add more cold butter to avoid the butter from browning
- Remove the plantains from the pan and let them rest in paper towels before serving to absorb any excess butter – serve hot
What’s the difference between bananas and plantains?
Plantains and bananas are totally not the same. Plantains are longer, firmer, and have thicker skin than regular bananas and before they are ripe, they are also less sweet and super starchy. Unlike bananas, they also need to be cooked prior to eating, and only taste sweet after they are completely ripe.
How ripe should plantains be for frying?
Ripe! They need to be black to make sure they are sweet. Read through the How do I buy sweet plantains section above to learn more.
A HUGE THANK YOU to Aline from Brazilian Kitchen Abroad for taking over my site today!
Sweet Fried Plantains
- 2-3 very ripe plantains peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup cold butter divided into 4 cubes
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add 1 cube of cold butter.
- When the butter starts to melt add the plantains – be sure to not crowd the pan.
- Add another cube of butter, and let the plantains fry in the butter for about 3 minutes, or until they are golden.
- When the plantains are golden, flip them using a pair of tongs so they can fry on the other side and add another cube of cold butter and fry.
- Add the last bit of butter and let the plantains fry until they are golden and nicely caramelized.
- When the plantains are golden, remove them from the pan using a pair of tongs, and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to cool.