We try to have a balanced meal most nights, which means we have a protein, vegetables, and a starch. When we’re looking for something a little different than the usual rice or potatoes, we lean towards items like yucca or plantains. Last night, I made tostones, which is basically fried plantain. Although, my twist is that I used my beloved air fryer. (If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you’d know I absolutely adore my air fryer.) If you don’t have an air fryer, don’t fret. You can do all the prep and pop them in the oven, too!
I’m definitely not an expert on plantains, but here’s what I know – Although plantains are technically a fruit, green plantains have less sugar and more starch. Yellow plantains are more ripe, which means they have higher sugar content and can be used in sweet plantain dishes. I had bought my plantains several days ago, so they were a bit more yellow when I got around to using them.
To prepare the yucca, you’ll need to soften them. I’ve seen some people cut, peel, and boil it. In this case, the microwave is much easier.
- Cut off the ends and makes a few slices through the outer skin. The slices will allow the yucca to breath and release some of that steam. If you’ve ever made a “baked” potato in the microwave, it’s the same concept – you need to poke holes in the potato first.
- Microwave for at least five minutes. The skin will turn dark. Be careful when handling them because they will be HOT!
- Peel the skin off the plantains.
- Slice into one-inch chunks.
- Use a flat surface (I used a drinking glass) to flatten each chunk. Hint: If the plantain gets stuck to the bottom of the glass, carefully run a knife between the plantain and the glass.
- Place a single layer of flattened plantains into the air fryer.
- Spray the tops of the plantain and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and chili powder.
- Set it to 400 degrees and cook for approximately 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Repeat steps 6-8 until all your plantains are cooked.
Jake loves dipping the tostones in this mayo/ketchup dip. Just mix relatively equal parts of mayo and ketchup to your taste. I like to add a squirt of sriracha and sprinkle pepper on top.
The main meal we had last night was steak tips. The tostones were the perfect side, along with some air-fried Parmesan green beans.