Twice-Fried Plantains (Tostones)
Why This Recipe Works
For our fried plantains recipe, we preferred green plantains—their firm, starchy texture softened and crisped nicely in hot fat, whereas ripe plantains turned too soft and soggy. We found that just about any frying medium—lard, shortening, and oil—works well in a fried plantain recipe, but since vegetable oil is ubiquitous, we made it our frying fat of choice. Plantains must be peeled and sliced and the slices smashed or flattened for frying, which helps the fruit to cook through and creates more surface area for crisping. Slicing the plantains to a thickness of 3/4 inch was ideal; once smashed, they were about 1/4 inch thick. Double-frying the plantains was also key to achieving the right interior texture and exterior color and crispness.