I am yet to meet anyone who does not love plantain crisps or chips! A joy to eat, they are so delicious and are a popular street snack in West Africa. They can be fried or baked and seasoned for both sweet and savoury snacks. Plantains are in the banana family, but they have a much higher starch content and need to be cooked in order to be properly digested.
For this recipe, I used ripe plantains which are yellow and softer than the unripe green variety. These are dehydrated for up to two hours at 100C (fan). Yes, two hours! Low and slow will produce the perfect crispness. Be prepared to use more than one tray for two plantains. Unripe plantains take less time to dehydrate but are not always easy to find or to keep unripe for too long.
Plantain crisps are just wonderful as snacks, as croutons in soups and salads for a lovely sweetness and a light crunch. You can also try this recipe for my Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin Soup with Plantain Crisps, ( coming soon). A hearty seasonal soup that is a hit at my dinner parties.
Let’s get cooking!
Cooking time: 1 – 2 hours
For 0.5l jar
2 large ripe (yellow) plantains
1 tsp fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1. Pre-heat your oven to 100C.
2. Cut 1-2cm off both ends of the plantain. Using the tip of your knife, lightly cut into the skin from the top to the bottom. Use your thumb to pull the peel apart and discard.
3. Use a mandolin to cut the plantain into thin rounds or use a knife if, like me, you are terribly old-fashioned.
4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, place the cut plantains onto the tray and bake for 2 hours at 100C. Watch careful every 30 minutes and turn if one side is sufficiently browned. 10 minutes before end of cooking time, crank up the heat to 110C to brown the plantain crisps.
5. Once ready take out of the tray to cool. Season whilst still warm, with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and paprika for extra heat. You can spray a bit of olive oil onto yours before seasoning if you wish.
Cook’s tip: Season your crisps with a variety of spices for a different treat every time. Try nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves for a Christmassy treat or olive oil, fresh rosemary and thyme for a wonderful herb infusion.
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Happy cooking! x