Fried Sweet Plantains

Sweet plantains, or plátanos, are a traditional side dish found on every table. The best plantains to use for the dish are overripe fruit with a blackened peel. The darker the peel, the higher the sugar content in the fruit, which yields a sweet flavor and a soft and gooey texture; the charred black edges will also become caramelized and crisp. Plantains, similar to bananas but with less sugar, are readily accessible—markets in Cuba always have a plentiful supply. In the city, produce sellers will wheel carts to busy corners, and people come from their apartments to purchase needed items for the week. Serves 4


  • 2–3 rIpe plantains
  • 4 tbsp canola oIl
  • salt
  • powdered sugar


Peel the plantains, chop off the ends, slice down the middle, and remove peel. Slice the plantain at an angle into thick wedges. Heat oil in a large frying pan, and place over medium heat. Add sliced plantains into the oil and cook on both sides until golden brown. The longer you fry the slices, the darker and sweeter they will become. Remove from heat, and drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt, dust with powdered sugar, and serve hot.

liza gershman