Today we’re going to talk about one of the most delicious and versatile ingredients out there – plantains. You might be familiar with them if you’ve ever had a taste of their sweet, starchy goodness in dishes like mofongo or maduros. But did you know that you can also cook fried plantains in an air fryer? It’s true! And it’s a game-changer for those who love the crispy, golden texture of traditional fried plantains but want to avoid all the oil.
So, let’s dive right into how you can make these tasty treats in your air fryer.
What are Plantains?
First things first – what exactly is a plantain? They’re a type of starchy fruit that grows on banana plants and they come in two main varieties: green and yellow. Green plantains are more common, especially in Latin American cuisine, while yellow plantains are sweeter and often used for desserts or as a snack.
When unripe (green), plantains have a starchy flavor that’s similar to potatoes. As they ripen and turn yellow, their sweetness increases until they become almost like a banana in taste and texture when fully ripe. But even at the green stage, they can be cooked and enjoyed as a tasty side dish or snack.
How to Cook Fried Plantains in an Air Fryer
Now that you know what plantains are, let’s talk about how to make fried plantain chips in your air fryer! Here’s a simple recipe:
– 2 large green plantains
– Salt, to taste
– Cooking spray or oil (optional)
1. Preheat the air fryer to about 375°F (190°C).
2. Cut off both ends of each plantain and then slice it lengthwise into thin rounds, making sure they’re all roughly the same thickness. You can also cut them in half or quarter if you prefer larger chips.
3. If desired, lightly spray with cooking oil or brush on a small amount of vegetable oil to give them some crispiness. Alternatively, you could use cooking spray for an even healthier option.
4. Place the plantain slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket, being careful not to overcrowd it as this can cause them to steam instead of fry. If necessary, cook in batches if your air fryer isn’t large enough for all the plantains at once.
5. Cook the plantain slices for about 10-12 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy on both sides. You may need to shake the basket halfway through cooking to ensure even browning.
6. Once done, remove from the air fryer and sprinkle with salt immediately while still hot for a touch of flavor. Enjoy your delicious homemade fried plantain chips!
Tips and Variations:
– To make them extra crispy, try soaking the sliced plantains in water for about 10 minutes before cooking to remove excess starch. Then pat dry with a paper towel before seasoning and air frying.
– For a spicy kick, sprinkle some cayenne pepper or chili powder over your salt after they’re done cooking.
– If you prefer sweeter plantains, wait until the plantain is fully ripe (yellow) before slicing and air frying. You can also add a drizzle of honey or brown sugar for extra sweetness.
– For a more traditional taste, try seasoning your plantain chips with garlic powder and onion powder in addition to salt.
– If you’re feeling fancy, make some guacamole or salsa to dip your fried plantains into – the perfect combination!
Frying plantains in an air fryer is a fantastic way to enjoy this delicious ingredient without all the added oil. Plus, it’s so easy and quick that you can have these tasty chips on your table in no time. So go ahead, experiment with different seasonings and dips, and make plantain fries a staple in your kitchen!