"It's so beautifully arranged on the the plate – you know someone's fingers have been all over it." – Julia Child





I will never turn town a potato chip or a French fry, the starch, the grease-slicked fingers, the lips split by the salt as if they had enjoyed a long night of kissing…but a fried plantain can be a scene-stealer. Fried until crisp in long, thin strips until the color of marigolds, they look like sleek surfboards. Cut into chips, they become edible coins from a slot machine, completely addicting. And of course, the double-dip method in which the plantain is fried twice is a favorite preparation.

Tostones begin by being cut into thick pieces, fried in vegetable oil, then flattened with a tostonera (see image) or the back of a small skillet, and returned to the frying pan. When finished, tostones resemble an exploding gold bloom. Seasoned with salt and served as an accompaniment to many meals, tostones can also be served as a “boca” or “botana” (appetizer) with crumbly or creamy Latin American cheeses like cotija and quesillo, refried beans, and vinegary cabbage slaws.

This is a basic method for making tostones. On average, each plantain will yield about 10 tostones; make as many or as few as you’d like. I’d recommend making more because the crunchy exterior and starchy, satisfying bite of the interior of the tostón calls for gluttony.


Fun fact: plantains in Mexico are called “plátanos machos”!

Green plantains
Vegetable oil

– Cut off and discard the ends of each plantain. Cut the plantain crosswise into 4 pieces. With a paring knife, score the skin, cutting just enough to reach the flesh of the plantain. Use the knife to pry off the skin. Cut each plantain quarter crosswise into 1- to 1 ½-inch pieces.

– Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering and reaches 350°F. The oil should be about ½-inch deep in the skillet.

– Fry a batch of the plantain pieces (don’t overcrowd the skillet) until golden, turning once halfway through frying, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer pieces to prepared baking sheet and repeat procedure with remaining plantain pieces.

– Using a tostonera or a small skillet, press down on the plantain pieces until they are flat. Fry the tostones once more, until crisp and golden, turning once halfway through frying, about 3 minutes per side.

– Transfer tostones to prepared baking sheet and immediately season with salt. Serve immediately.

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  1. July 26, 2013

    I love tostones! I especially like tostones de yuca.

  2. July 26, 2013

    Oh I love plantain! I’ve never tried preparing them myself though. Thanks for this recipe and the beautiful accompanying photographs 🙂

    • July 26, 2013

      They’re really not that difficult to make…and soooo delicious! Glad you like the photos!

  3. Renee #
    July 27, 2013

    YUM! plantains are soooo good. I like to serve these alongside a spicy beef dish. I always forget about them though. May just have to go out and buy some this week…

  4. July 27, 2013

    really interesting. I never knew green bananas could be used to cook with. the photos really help make the recipe sound very appealing.

    • August 3, 2013

      Note! These aren’t bananas—they’re plantains…same family, but completely different. Plantains are never eaten raw because they’re very tough and starchy. Try them, they’re delicious!

  5. July 27, 2013

    Wow! I love the pictures. Oh, this is same as fried banana in philippines. Yum!!!

  6. July 27, 2013

    Never had them before but sure enough will try them! Your photographs are gorgeous!

  7. July 27, 2013

    What’s not to love? great way to cut them up! great pics!

  8. July 27, 2013

    Loooove tostones! Great way to cut them up! amazing pics!!

  9. August 8, 2013

    I’ll take a tostone over a french fry any day of the week.

  10. August 12, 2013

    i have never cooked with plantain but i would love to try! your photographs are beautiful! thanks for sharing!

  11. September 25, 2013

    Wow the pictures are incredible! Normally I’m not a huge fan of plantain but I think you might have inspired me to give them another go..

  12. October 24, 2013

    tostones, no hay cosa mejor! bien salados! increible este blog!

  13. March 21, 2014

    On the rare occasions that I make dresest, I serve it with coffee about an hour after dinner. I made your apple cake today and no sooner than my husband finished his last bit of dinner he grabbed a knife and headed over to the cake. He loved it! We all did. I made it just as your recipe says. Why change perfection. It is going to be a regular at our house. I’ve also pinned it on Pinterest and posted it on Facebook. When I find something this easy and this perfect I’ve just got to share. Thanks! I’ll be checking out your other recipes too.Cynthia

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