Crispy Tostones Fried Plantains: A Nutrient-Packed Latin American Snack

Tostones originate from Latin America. You can find them in countries like Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. People in these regions have enjoyed tostones for centuries, making them a staple in their cuisine. The process of frying plantains twice gives tostones their unique taste and texture, setting them apart from other snacks.

How Tostones Differ From Other Plantain Dishes

Tostones differ from other plantain dishes in several ways. While maduros are sweet and soft, tostones are savory and crispy. Mofongo, another popular dish, involves mashing plantains with garlic and pork cracklings, but tostones remain intact and are mashed only before the second frying. Additionally, tostones are typically served as appetizers or side dishes, unlike plantain chips, which are thinner and used more like potato chips.

Ingredients and Tools Needed

Essential Ingredients for Tostones

To make tostones, you’ll need specific ingredients:

  • Green Plantains: Essential for tostones, green plantains differ from ripe ones. Their firm texture makes them perfect for frying.
  • Vegetable Oil: Necessary for frying, you can use any high smoke-point oil like canola or sunflower.
  • Salt: Adds flavor to your tostones. Sea salt or regular table salt both work well.
  • Garlic (Optional): Some recipes include crushed garlic for an additional flavor layer.
  • Sharp Knife: Needed to peel and slice the plantains. Ensure it’s well-sharpened to handle the tough plantain skin.
  • Cutting Board: Provides a safe surface for slicing plantains.
  • Large Skillet: Use a heavy-bottomed skillet to ensure even heat distribution during frying.
  • Tongs or Slotted Spoon: Helps safely flip and remove plantains from hot oil.
  • Paper Towels: Essential for draining excess oil from the fried plantains.
  • Flat Wooden Spatula: Useful for flattening the plantains before the second frying.
  • Plate: You’ll need this to hold the plantains after the first fry.

Step-by-Step Cooking Guide

Preparing the Plantains

Start with green plantains. Use a sharp knife to cut off both ends. Next, score the skin lengthwise in a few places. Peel off the skin. Cut the plantains into 1-inch thick slices.

Ensure the slices are uniform. This ensures even cooking. To add flavor, you can soak the slices in salted water for about 10 minutes. Pat them dry before frying.

Frying Techniques and Tips

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil reaches 350°F, place the plantain slices in the oil using tongs. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until they turn golden.

Remove the slices and flatten them using a spatula or a tostonera. Return the flattened slices to the skillet. Fry for another 2-3 minutes on each side until crispy.

Place the tostones on paper towels to drain the excess oil. Sprinkle salt while they’re still hot. For variation, you can rub them with fresh garlic. Serve immediately as appetizers or side dishes.

Serving Suggestions

Accompaniments for Tostones

Tostones pair well with various dipping sauces and sides that enhance their flavor. Common accompaniments include:

  1. Garlic Mojo: Prepare a simple garlic sauce using minced garlic, lime juice, and olive oil.
  2. Guacamole: Use fresh avocados, lime, red onion, and cilantro to create a creamy contrast.
  3. Pico de Gallo: Combine tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice for a fresh, tangy topping.
  4. Sour Cream: Add a dollop of sour cream for a cool, creamy complement.

Creative Serving Ideas

Incorporate tostones into diverse meals by using inventive serving ideas. Here are a few:

  1. Tostones Sliders: Use tostones instead of buns for mini sandwiches with pulled pork, beef, or grilled veggies.
  2. Tostones Nachos: Layer tostones with cheese, jalapeños, black beans, and salsa for a Latin twist on traditional nachos.
  3. Tostones Breakfast Stack: Top with scrambled eggs, bacon, and avocado slices for a hearty breakfast.
  4. Tostones Tacos: Use tostones as a crispy base, then add your choice of taco fillings like seasoned meat, lettuce, and cheese.

Use these suggestions to elevate your tostones experience by introducing varied textures and flavors that complement their crispy, savory nature.

Health Benefits and Nutritional Information

Dietary Benefits of Tostones

Tostones offer dietary benefits due to their primary ingredient, green plantains. Rich in dietary fiber, they support digestive health and aid in weight management by promoting a feeling of fullness. Green plantains contain resistant starch, which acts as a prebiotic and feeds beneficial gut bacteria. This type of starch also aids in regulating blood sugar levels, making tostones a better option for those monitoring their glycemic index.

Caloric and Nutritional Breakdown

A typical serving of tostones (100 grams) provides:

Calories230 kcal
Total Fat10 grams
Carbohydrates37 grams
Dietary Fiber2.3 grams
Sugars14 grams
Protein1 gram
Sodium50 mg
Potassium465 mg
Vitamin A1120 IU
Vitamin C18 mg

Tostones deliver potassium, a vital mineral for maintaining proper heart and muscle function. They also provide vitamins A and C, which are essential for immune function and skin health. By incorporating tostones sparingly into your diet, you can enjoy their unique flavor while benefiting from their nutritional profile.


Tostones are more than just a delicious Latin American snack; they’re a versatile and nutritious addition to your culinary repertoire. Whether you’re enjoying them as an appetizer, side dish, or creative main course, their crispy texture and savory flavor make them an irresistible treat. Plus, with the added benefits of dietary fiber, resistant starch, and essential vitamins, tostones offer a balanced option for those mindful of their health. So, next time you’re in the mood for something unique and satisfying, give tostones a try—you won’t be disappointed.

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