This is my easy recipe for fried ripe plantains or platanos maduros fritos, a must-have side dish for so many Latin dishes. I experienced overexposure to plantains when I was growing up (and it was great!).
We grew plantains on the farm, my mom used to make us fried ripe plantains for breakfast – or on request. Now my kids rave about my mom making them a whole pan of platanos maduros when they visit her. Fried plantains are also one of the first things I learned to cook on my own as a kid.
In Ecuador, the street food stalls in the city and at the beach sell the best whole ripe plantains fried and stuffed with cheese. I could fill a cookbook with all the plantain recipes I’ve tried. There are so many different ways to prepare them and the taste of each dish is completely different even though the same main ingredient is used.Jump to Recipe
I love dishes made with green or unripe plantains as much as I do those that are made with ripe ones. Fried ripe plantains are probably the most well known way to cook plantains and also the easiest way to cook them. Even then there are so many options for frying ripe plantains, from how you slice them, to how ripe they are and if you shallow fry vs deep frying.
Fried ripe plantains go well as a side dish for almost any meal, especially if the meal involves rice. One of the most simple and delicious meals you can have is rice with a fried egg and fried plantains.
They are perfect simply right out of the frying pan, but also delicious with cheese on top. I like to use either queso fresco or feta cheese, the saltiness reminds me of an Ecuadorian cheese call queso de sopa (a soft crumbly salty cheese used in soups). A grated cheese that melts easily (like Ecuadorian quesillo, mozzarella, monterey jack or fontina) is also good. These fried ripe plantains can be served as an appetizer, as a side dish, as a snack, or as breakfast dish.
Fried ripe plantains – Platanos maduros fritos
- 2 ripe plantains
- Oil for frying can use avocado, sunflower, peanut oil
- Cheese for sprinkling or melting on top: You can use quesillo queso freso or feta if you want to experience the saltiness contrast with the sweetness of the plantain. Other options include grated mozzarella, monterey jack, or fontina if you prefer the yummy gooiness of melted cheese
- Wash and peel the plantains
- Slice the plantains, the best way to slice them is either diagonally or cut the plantain in half and slice lengthwise. The plantain can also be sliced lengthwise full size, but the smaller diagonal or half slices are easier to manage.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan and add the plantains
- The plantains will cook very quickly, make sure to turn them before they burn and cook until golden on each side. You can use a spatula or a fork to turn them. If the plantain flesh is still pink or white inside it means that it is not yet fully cooked.
- Thicker slices and less ripe plantains will need longer to cook, and maybe more oil.
- Place the cooked plantains on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
- Serve warm
If you love plantains or want to try different recipes, you can check out my collection of plantain recipes.