Plantains are basically big, angular bananas; the main difference is the high starch content of plantains which means they are best eaten after being cooked, unlike bananas that are smaller and sugary and often eaten raw.
Plantain chips are thinly sliced plantains fried in oil and lightly salted. They make a delicious snack, and if you haven’t tried it before, you’re missing something. But what do plantain chips taste like?
Describing what plantains taste like to people who haven’t tasted them before might be quite difficult; they have a texture similar to potatoes chips, with a slight sweetness to them.
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What Do Plantain Chips Taste Like?
How ripe the plantains used for the chips determine their taste and how sweet they turn out to be.
Chips made from green plantains are crisper but are less sweet, unlike ripened plantains that are sweeter but a little less firm; depending on how ripe the plantains are, they may be caramelized as well.
Not only is plantains chips a great snack to have on their own, but also a good accompaniment to a sandwich.
They can be served with dipping sauces and pretty much anything you would have potato chips with. It may interest you to know that plantains are a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamin a, and vitamin b.
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Type of Plantain For Making Plantain Chips
When making plantain chips, you can either use a plantain that is ripe or green. Ripe plantains are yellow with brown spots, but when green, they are less ripe and have a higher starch content, making them firmer, crisper, and easy to slice, but they won’t be very sweet.
Ripe plantains, on the other hand, can be yellow or brown, depending on the level of ripeness. They also become a little sticky and mushy when the starch has been converted into sugar. You may also find it difficult to slice ripe plantains but have a sweeter taste.
Plantain chips can be made out of yellow or brown plantains, but if you want perfectly crispy chips, you will need to use green plantains; they turn out crisper with a mild flavor and can easily be paired with any dip.
How To Make Plantain Chips
If you picked up some plantains during your last trip to the farmer’s market, you could make delicious chips with them.
Here’s how to do so:
1. Peel the Plantain
Although a plantain looks similar to a banana, peeling it isn’t as easy. Plantains have a thicker skin which you’ll need to score along the seams before sliding your finger under the peel to break it off.
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There are video tutorials on how to peel plantains on the internet, such as the one below:
Watch it for guidance if you’ve never peeled a plantain before.
2. Slice the Plantain
With your plantains peeled, the next step is to slice them up. To get very crispy plantain chips, you need to slice the plantains thin and evenly. The thinner the plantain slices, the crispier they will be!
You can use a mandolin slicer to cut the plantain to get perfectly-thin slices; it also helps you work quickly, especially when slicing a large batch of plantains and ensures your slices are of the same thickness every time.
If you don’t own a mandolin, you can absolutely make use of a sharp knife and slice slowly and methodically. Depending on your knife skills, a few slices might be a bit uneven, but that’s totally fine! Just cook the thicker slices a bit longer.
3. Season the Plantains
This is an optional step, and you can totally make plantain chips without any seasoning but for some extra flavor, toss the plantains with either olive oil or coconut oil and a bit of sea salt.
Some people add a pinch of chili powder for some spice and other savory spices; this is, again, totally up to your preference.
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4. Bake the Plantains Chips
You can decide to bake your plantain chips as a healthier alternative to frying. To do this, start by spreading the plantain slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in an even layer and place in the oven to bake at 350°f for 20-25 minutes.
If your plantain slices do not have a consistent thickness, some may be done before others, and you will need to pull those off before baking thicker chips for an additional few minutes until crisp.
5. Fry the Plantain Slices
If you prefer to fry your plantain chips, start by filling a deep pan up to 4 inches high with cooking oil.
Heat the oil on high for about 10 minutes or until it reaches about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn down the heat to medium and drop the plantains gently into the oil one after the other.
Stir gently and allow the plantains to fry in the oil for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally, and once they begin to turn a golden-brown color, remove the chips and place them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Allow to cool, and your delicious snack is ready to be eaten.
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