Banane Peze – Haitian Double Fried Plantain – Tostones in Spanish speaking Caribbean islands is Banane Peze in Haiti, albeit with some minor changes that creates a different flavor profile!
Fried Plantain is a ubiquitous side dish to any Caribbean meal. Either boiled or fried green or ripe plantain accompany almost every meal. Frying ripe plantain is pretty easy. Simply peel, slice and fry in oil. Frying green plantain takes a little bit more work. Even just learning how to easily remove the skin off of the green plantain takes some skill. Until I create a how to video, I hope my instructions are clear enough for you, but if you have any problems or questions, please leave a comment and I will respond to any questions.
In most of the Caribbean, green plantain is double fried. It is first cut into thick slices and fried just o give it a little color. It is then flattened with a gadget called a Tostonera and then fried again. If you don’t have a tostonera, you can also press down on the plantain with a heavy cast iron pan wrapped in aluminum foil. What makes Banane Peze – Haitian Double Fried Plaintain a little different is that in between it is dipped in a salted vinegar solution. This creates an additional level of flavor that brings Fried Green Plantain to the next level!
HOW TO PICK GREEN PLANTAINS
But before we get to making Banane Peze, let’s first talk about picking plantains. I still meet people every day who have never eaten plantains. It no longer surprises me, but being from Caribbean parents, I try to convince them what they’re missing out on. Many sometimes tell me that they want to try it, but they are not sure how to pick the plantains at the market with the color range from green to yellow to black.
The worst plantain is when it is in that in between stage. It’s not quite ripe yet, but it is no longer green. It’s half way savory and sweet and for me it’s like a schizophrenic plantain. It doesn’t know what it is. Am I green? Am I ripe? It just doesn’t know!
To make Banane Peze, you wan’t your plantain to be green. Even the ends should not be yellow. If you see yellow anywhere on the plantain, it is starting to turn ripe. Pick another one that is completely green.
To learn more about picking, peeling and cooking both green and ripe plantain, see here!
IN THE MAKING – HOW TO MAKE BANANE PEZE
Banane Peze – Haitian Double Fried Plantain
- 2 green plantains
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- extra salt for post frying
- oil for frying
- Peel and slice plantains into large pieces.
- Heat a skillet with enough oil for shallow frying. Fry the plantain slices about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Remove onto paper towels.
- In a small bowl, combine water, vinegar and salt.
- For the next step, you can use the flat side of a large knife like a cleaver or wrap a heavy pot (cast iron) in foil and use the bottom of the pot. I have a tool available in Caribbean and Latin American markets called a tostonera.
- Place the fried plantain slices in the tostonera and press down. Alternatively, place the fried plantain slices on a cutting board and with the cleaver or the cast iron pot, press down until the fried plantain slice is flattened.
- Be careful not to make too flat. Otherwise, the plantain will disintegrate in the next step.
- Dip flattened plantain slices in vinegar solution for about 30-45 seconds.
- Pat dry with paper towels.
- Fry again in hot oil for a few minutes on both sides, until crispy.
- As soon as it comes out of the hot oil, give it a nice sprinkle of salt and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Serve with every Haitian meal!