Learn how to make these crispy, savory tostones (platanos fritos)! They’re twice-fried, flattened and sprinkled with sea salt. Serve them with sweet and tangy mayoketchup! Vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
Normally I’m all for sweet plantains, but waiting 10 days for them to ripen gets a little ridiculous! Tostones are the perfect dish to make when you can’t wait for your plantains turn yellow and are in the mood for something savory.
Unlike maduros, which are fried sweet plantains, tostones are made from fried green (unripe) plantains. They’re starchy, salty and crispy, and the mayo ketchup dipping sauce adds some tanginess and sweetness!
What is mayoketchup?
Mayoketchup is just that, mayo and ketchup! I like to add a squeeze of lime to up the tanginess, and I tend to go a little heavier on the mayo than on the ketchup, but feel free to change the ratio to suit your taste!
By the way, you can use plant-based mayo for vegan mayoketchup.
Green vs. Yellow Plantains
To make tostones you’ll need to buy green, unripe plantains. Unripe plantains have a mild taste and starchy texture, whereas ripe plantains are yellow, have a softer texture and sweeter taste.
Green plantains can be stored at room temperature and it typically takes around 10 days for them to fully ripen, so you have a few days to use them before they start turning yellow. A trick to keep your green plantains from ripening is to stick them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
I bet you already have everything you need to make to make tostones!
- 4 unripe green plantains
- Frying oil (canola or vegetable oil work well)
- Salt (coarse sea salt or kosher salt if you have it)
- Mayonnaise, ketchup, squeeze of fresh lime, pinch of salt and black pepper for the dipping sauce (optional)
Making fried green plantains is super straight-forward. You don’t need anything fancy!
- Frying vessel with deep sides like this cast iron cooker
- Utensils – tongs or a metal slotted spoon for frying
- Something to press the plantains – can be a wooden spoon, spatula or the bottom of a mug or mason jar. Some people use a tostonera (plantain press), but you can easily manage without one.
How to make tostones
Step 1: Prepare the mayo-ketchup
The sauce only takes a few seconds to make but I like to get it out of the way first.
Combine the mayo, ketchup, juice from 1 lime wedge and a small pinch of salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly.
I use slightly more mayo than ketchup but feel free to adjust the amounts to your liking.
Step 2: Peel and slice the plantains
Cut both ends off the plantains then run a knife length-wise along the ridges of the plantain. Try to avoid cutting into the flesh if you can. Use the edge of your knife to loosen the peel from the plantain, and then finish peeling with your fingers.
Slice the plantains into rounds (¾-inch to 1 inch thick). The thicker you slice your rounds, the bigger your tostones will be.
Peeling plantains takes a little bit of practice. iIt’s not uncommon to have a few nicks in your plantains. I cook with plantains regularly and I still don’t get it perfect every time.
Step 3: Fry the plantains for the 1st time
Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Fry the sliced plantains in batches of 10-12 slices, 2 minutes on each side. Make sure to let the plantains cook the entire 4 minutes so they get soft enough to smash/flatten.
Drain the fried plantains on paper towels.
Step 4: Flatten the tostones
One by one, transfer the fried plantains to a cutting board with (cut side of the plantain facing up). Use a wooden spoon or spatula to flatten them.
Step 5: Fry them again
Return the flattened plantains to the hot oil and fry them in batches of 6 at a time for about a minute on each side. Watch the color closely and flip them sooner if they start to look too brown.
Drain the tostones on paper towels.
Step 6: Salt and serve the tostones
Sprinkle the tostones with a pinch or two of sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lime. Serve them immediately with mayoketchup!
Troubleshooting – why are my tostones falling apart?
If you notice that your tostones aren’t holding together as you flatten them it likely means they need to be fried longer. Stop pressing and return them to the hot oil for 1 or 2 minutes longer so they can soften.
If this happens, stop pressing and return the slices to the hot oil and let them cook for another minute or so until they become a bit softer. Then you should be able to flatten them more easily.
What to serve with fried green plantains
Serve them with just about anything!
- With mayoketchup or guacamole.
- With a braised meat dish like this Cape Verdean version of sancocho.
- With white rice or arroz con gandules.
Feel free to make the following adjustments/substitutes:
- Salt – sea salt is recommended but kosher salt or table salt both work well. I prefer coarse, but it doesn’t have to be.
- Oil – any neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke can be used. Canola, vegetable and peanut oil work well. Do not use olive oil for deep frying!
- Plant-based mayo can be used instead of regular mayo for vegan mayo-ketchup sauce
Reheating and storing leftover tostones
Leftover tostones can be stored in the refrigerator and taste best when eaten within 3 days. They keep well in foil or in a paper-towel lined ziploc bag.
Reheat them in the oven at 375°F for 8-12 minutes on a baking sheet.
Some other side dish recipes you might like:
- How to Make Pan Fried Sweet Plantains (Maduros Recipe)
- Yuca Fries
- Seasoned white rice
- Pigeon Peas and Rice (Arroz con Gandules Recipe)
Tostones - Fried Green Plantains w/ MayoKetchup
- 4 green plantains
- 1 cup canola oil
- pinch sea salt
- lime wedges for serving
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup ketchup
- juice from 1 lime wedge
- pinch salt and pepper
- Make the mayo ketchup by combining the mayo, ketchup, juice from 1 lime wedge and a small pinch of salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
- Peel and slice the plantains by cutting their ends off and running a knife length-wise along the ridges. Try to avoid cutting into the flesh. Use the edge of your knife to separate the plantain from its peel, and then use your fingers to remove the plantain from its casing. Cut the plantains into 1-inch thick rounds.
- Fry the sliced plantains - heat the oil over medium-high heat and fry in batches of 10-12 slices at a time, 2 minutes on each side. Make sure to let them cook the entire 4 minutes so they get soft enough to smash/flatten. Drain the fried plantains on paper towels.
- Flatten the fried plantains by placing them on a cutting board and using a wooden spoon or spatula to press them.
- Return the smashed plantains to the hot oil and fry them in batches of 6 at a time for about a minute on each side. Watch the color closely and flip them sooner if they start to look too brown. Drain the tostones on paper towels.
- Sprinkle the tostones with a pinch or two of sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lime. Serve them immediately with mayo ketchup.
- Vegetable or peanut oil can be substituted for canola
- For uniform tostones, cut the plantains into rounds rather than on a diagonal
- Leftover tostones should be kept in the refrigerator and taste best when eaten within 3 days. They keep well in foil or in a paper-towel lined ziploc bag.
- Re-heat tostones on a baking sheet in the oven for 8-12 minutes at 375°F
Food safety tips
You’ll want to keep the following in mind when making tostones:
- Pay close attention to the oil as it heats, never leave hot oil unattended.
- Do not leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point like canola or vegetable oil.
- Always have good ventilation when frying or using a gas stove
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days