Tajadas de Plátanos

Fried Sweet Plantain Strips with Cheese and Sugar

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Preparation info

  • 16-20 strips

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

If I may quote the Colombian writer, Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, in his sensational story about my hometown, Volver a Barranquilla:

En la casa de la familia más rica y antigua de la cuidad, se come todo los días tajadas de plátano con arroz como en el ultimo tugurio de Carrizal.

He clearly explains that every day in Barranquilla, both the oldest, richest families and those in the farthest, poorest huts eat Tajadas de Plátano and rice; we all have a very close relationship with plantains* imbedded in our soul.


  • 2 very ripe plantains*
  • 2 cups oil for frying
  • 10 ounces white farmer’s cheese,* grated ( cups)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar


  1. The plantains for this dish have to be very ripe, the peel almost black, but still have to be firm to the touch. When you press them gently, they should not feel mushy inside; if they are, the taste will be rancid and overripe. If you buy green plantains and wait for them to ripen it might take a week or so. Do not refrigerate them or they will not ripen well. It is better to buy plantains fully ripe or only a couple of days before, as this ensures you they haven’t been refrigerated and will ripen fully without getting mushy.
  2. Cut the ends off the plantains and peel. Cut on the bias into ¼-inch-thick slices.
  3. Pour the oil into a deep, medium, heavy pot, and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (about 350°F), add the plantain pieces and fry 2 to 3 minutes. (If the oil doesn’t cover the pieces, fry for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.)
  4. Remove the plantains from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain over paper towels.
  5. Combine the cheese and the sugar. Put half a tablespoon on each slice and serve.
  6. Another option is to roll and close with a toothpick and serve as hors d’oeuvres.