Fried sweet plantain slices are one of my favorite Venezuelan side dishes. Sweet ripe bananas that become soft and gooey when fried. Just add a bit of cheese and butter for an explosion of flavor!
This recipe has many namesl; tajadas, maduros or amarillitos. They are really popular in Venezuela and Puerto Rico, and for a good reason. They are absolutely delicious.
When I lived in Venezuela, my mom used to make tajadas almost every single day. Now, here in Portugal, it is a bit tricky for me to find plantains. So, these tajadas are like a treat for me when I’m a bit homesick.
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How to pick the right plantains for maduros?
For this recipe, the riper the better. Not even exaggerating, I love plantains that are also black. That means they are sweeter and softer.
If you only have green plantains and you want to make something with them before they’re ripe, you may want to make tostones (green plantain fritters) instead.
How to cut ripe sweet plantains?
First, cut the ends.
To peel a ripe plantain you have to make a superficial cut lengthwise. Try to cut only the peel and not the flesh.
With the help of a knife separate the peel from the plantain. It is pretty similar to peeling a yuca root.
Then, cut the sweet plantain diagonally. This way you create an elongated oval shape (see the picture for reference).
How to make tajadas?
Did I mention this is an easy recipe? Because it is a no brainer recipe, actually.
In a big pan heat enough oil to cover the plantain slices. You can use your favorite type of vegetable oil. I prefer sunflower oil because it has no smell and doesn’t produce fumes when heated.
Then…. Fry the plantains… duh!
Told ya! Easy peasy.
I fry until the maduros are brown and tender. Then, I let it rest over absorbent paper— to absorb a bit of guilt— while I serve the rest of my lunch.
Savory or sweet?
The most common way to eat maduros is with some shredded white cheese on top. But, there is another way that you can eat them to make them even more scrumptious.
After frying the sweet plantain slices, in a different pan add ¼ of sugar with ½ tbsp of cinnamon. Toss the maduros into the pan and cook for 5 minutes until they are caramelized.
This will taste almost like a dessert, but it can be used as a side dish as well.
- 2 big yellow ripe plantains
- Enough vegetable oil to fry (I use sunflower oil)
- Pinch of salt
- Shredded white cheese (optional but highly recommended)
Cut the ends of the plantains and peel them.
Cut the peeled plantains into diagonal slices.
In a big pan, add enough oil to cover the slices. Heat the oil over medium heat.
Fry the plantain slices until they are brown, flip to cook the other side.
Let the fried sweet plantains rest over absorbent paper and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
Serve with some shredded white cheese on top