Colombian patacones are a delicious testament to the art of simplicity in cooking. With just a few humble ingredients and a couple of frying sessions, you can create a dish that bursts with flavor and offers a satisfying crunch in every bite. These crispy, golden rounds of fried green plantains are not only a staple in Colombian homes but also a popular street food enjoyed by people of all ages.
To make this mouthwatering Colombian treat, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 3 to 4 green plantains (unripe)
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Salt, to taste
Here’s how to transform these simple ingredients into a plate of irresistible patacones:
1. Select the Perfect Plantains:
The key to excellent patacones lies in choosing the right plantains. Opt for green, unripe plantains as they have a starchy texture that crisps up beautifully when fried.
2. Peel and Slice:
Begin by peeling the plantains. A handy trick is to cut off both ends, make a lengthwise slit in the skin, and then gently peel it away. Once peeled, slice the plantains into rounds that are about an inch thick.
3. Fry to Perfection:
In a deep pan or skillet, heat enough vegetable oil to submerge the plantain slices. Carefully place the slices into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry them until they turn golden brown, which should take about 2-3 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried slices to a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.
4. Flatten and Fry Again:
Now comes the fun part. Take each fried plantain round and place it between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Using the bottom of a flat, heavy object (like a glass or a plate), gently press down to flatten the round into a thinner disk. Be careful not to squish it too thin; you want it to maintain its structural integrity.
5. Revisit the Fryer:
Return the flattened plantain disks to the hot oil and fry them for an additional 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they’re crispy and golden. This second frying ensures that the patacones achieve that perfect crunchiness.
6. Season and Serve:
Once the patacones are fried to perfection, remove them from the oil and drain any excess oil on paper towels. Sprinkle them with a pinch of salt while they’re still hot to enhance their flavor.
7. Enjoy the Crunch:
Colombian patacones are best served fresh and hot. They make an excellent accompaniment to a variety of dishes, from grilled meats and seafood to hearty soups. You can also enjoy them as a standalone snack, dipped in your favorite sauce or guacamole.
Whether you’re sharing them with friends, savoring them as a snack, or relishing them with a hearty meal, patacones are a Colombian culinary gem that will leave your taste buds craving for more.