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How to prepare and cook Plantains

Plantain Recipes  |  Growing Vegetables|   What's In Season   |  More Vegetables -  Prep & Cooking times


Common Names: Plantain, Cooking Banana, Bocadillo, Beer Banana, potatoes of the air
Family: Musaceae
In Season: Autumn
Buying: Choose firm specimens which are not too hard, squidgy, mouldy or cracked. As they can be cooked at various stages of ripeness, the colour will depend on the end result you wish to achieve.  Green to yellow - the flavour is bland and its texture is starchy which is suitable for cooking and serving as you would potatoes.  Brown to black, the flavour is sweeter although it keeps its firm shape when cooked and is more akin to young parsnips. If you wish you can buy green ones and ripen them at home.
Storing: Up to 8 days  in a cool, dry, dark place depending on ripeness. Do not store in the refrigerator.
Serving Allowances: ½ per person


General - Preparing Plantains

Although plantains are strictly speaking a fruit, they are always used as a savoury ingredient. Always cook plantains - do not eat raw.



Most recipes will call for plantains to be peeled. The way you peel them depends on their stage of ripeness. Green plantains should be  washed first then the ends cut off, and the fruit cut across into to sections about 10cm/4-inches long.


Cut through the very thick peel lengthwise along its four ridges just down to the flesh then remove each strip of skin,  working sideways rather than downwards and remove any woody fibres. Once you are used to this method, you can omit cutting the fruit into lengths before peeling. Ripe brown or black plantains can be peeled just like a banana.


Ripe Plantains are also delicious baked in their skins.

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Optional Preparations/Cuts  

(see Main Vegetable Preparation Page for  explanations and photos)


Baton Brunoise Chunk Cube Dice/chop Grate Julienne
Y x Y x x x x
Matchsticks Mashed Paysanne Puréed Shred Slice Sulfrino
x Y x Y x Y x


Suitable methods and timing for cooking Plantains




Whole Ripe in skin   =  40 - 45 minutes. Cut a lengthwise slit in each plantain before placing on a baking tray.

Ripe, peeled, 1cm/½-inch slices   =  15-20 minutes. Place in a single layer, dot with butter  or coat with oil and turn from time to time


y Ripe whole/chunks  =    20 minutes
Green  whole/chunks  =    30 minutes


y Green or Ripe 1cm/½-inch Slices or Batons  =  8 - 10 minutes. Sauté in butter or oil. Sprinkle with sugar to caramelise or salt just before removing from the pan.





Ripe   =    30-35 minutes



Related Recipes and Information


Vegetarian  Main Course Recipes   |  Vegetable Side Dish  Recipes    |  Vegan recipes  |   What's in Season  |  Growing Vegetables



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