Plátanos Maduros
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Plátanos Maduros

Sweet fried plantains - a Caribbean favorite!

Jul 03, 2024

By: Franchesca Livraghi | @breakthrukitchen

What’s better: maduros or tostones? This is one of the biggest debates at the dinner table for my family! 

And even though maduros don’t require double frying like tostones, they are a little bit harder to get perfect. But if you follow a few simple tips you’ll be able to make them effortlessly!

Plátanos Maduros on a plate

The plátano that you use needs to be perfectly ripened, the slices need to be cut just right in thickness, and they need to be fried until they’re caramelized and golden brown on the outside, but soft and creamy on the inside.

With that being said, my abuela ended the entire maduros vs. tostones debate with a simple solution: “Just make both.”

Pick the right plantains for perfect maduros

When you're picking plantains for maduros, go for the ones that are nearly or fully ripe. Look for plantains with yellow to deep yellow skin, maybe even with some black spots on them. The more black spots you see, the more chance that the plantain is ripe.

Scooping up maduros using Loisa's skimmer

You could check the ripeness of a yellow plantain by using your fingers to feel how soft the plantain is (be sure not to press too hard and bruise it). These kinds of ripe plantains will be sweet and flavorful and get perfectly caramelized when you cook them. 

Avoid the green or mostly green plantains that you’d usually use to make tostones because they won’t work for this, and they sometimes don’t ripen completely to be able to make maduros.

Cut the plantain diagonally

To make signature maduros, slice the plantain diagonally so that you give each piece more surface area to caramelize evenly. This means each slice gets a chance to develop that irresistible golden-brown color and sweet, caramelized flavor, while still keeping a soft and creamy center.

Plantain cut diaganolly

I like to cut them about ¼-½ inch wide so that the maduros can cook all the way through and there’s not a raw center.

The cooking temp needs to be just right

When it comes to cooking, the temperature of the oil is crucial. Too hot, and the plantains will burn on the outside and stay way undercooked inside. Too cool, and they will absorb too much oil and get greasy and soggy. 

The oil should be heated to low to medium heat to get the perfect texture on the plátanos maduros. Remember to fry the plantain slices in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan since this can lower the oil temperature and cause uneven cooking. Each slice should be fried for about 2-3 minutes on each side until they are caramelized and golden brown.

Plátanos sizzling in pan with oil

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Maintain a low to medium oil temperature, fry plantain slices in batches to prevent overcrowding, and cook each slice for 2-3 minutes per side until caramelized and golden brown.
  • Use a skimmer to get all the maduros out of the oil and drain them before placing them on a paper towel lined plate. This helps the maduros not get soggy with oil and drain properly.
  • Serve the plantains while they’re hot. Maduros are perfect when they’re freshly made, and they’re just not the same after they cool down. Even reheating them doesn’t get them exactly how they are when freshly made, so make sure to enjoy them while they’re warm.