Giant Fried Plantain

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 8


Appears in

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Secrets of Colombian Cooking

By Patricia McCausland-Gallo

Published 2004

  • About

If you ever fly to Colombia or come across a Colombian restaurant, please try these. Then you will run to make them. The plantains* for this recipe should be completely green. When you peel green plantains they should have a slightly orange color; if they are very pale and yellow they are not of the optimum quality for these large tostadas! The secret to keeping them from breaking when pounded is that they must be completely cooked in the middle. You can even add together several plantains to make huge ones—you would just need a giant frying pan.


  • 8 green plantains*
  • 2 quarts of oil for frying
  • Salt, for serving
  • Ajíes, for serving


  1. If you have your plantains refrigerated, or live in a very cold climate, place the plantains in warm water for 2 hours to bring them back to room temperature.
  2. Cut the ends off the plantains and peel. Leave whole.
  3. Heat the oil in a very large and wide frying pan or caldero* over medium heat. When it is hot (about 275°F), add the whole plantains and fry for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the whole plantain is cooked through but not browned. The oil must cover the plantains.
  4. Remove the plantains from the oil with a slotted spoon. On the work surface, place each plantain between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or damp towels, and pound gently until the whole plantain is about ⅛-inch thick. If it breaks don’t worry, play with it and add a piece from the sides of the same plantain. You can even add two pieces, one whole and another half a plantain if you want to make an even larger one.
  5. Increase the heat of the oil to 350°F. Carefully peel the pressed plantain from the plastic or cloth and drop it into the hot oil. Fry it for 6 to 8 minutes or until very crisp.
  6. Remove the tostada carefully from the oil with a pair of slotted spoon and drain over paper towels.
  7. Lightly salt, and serve with a variety of ajíes from the Salsa and Sauces chapter.