- Food: Crispy Baked Tostones
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
I’m very pleased to show you how to make these crispy baked tostones! When I went to Costa Rica with my grandmother a few years ago, I came upon tostones.
Tostones are fried green plantains that have been flattened and fried again till golden and crispy. On that trip, I couldn’t get enough of these, which you could almost term Caribbean French fries.
A few months back, I had a craving for tostones and wanted to learn how to make them. “Why didn’t you try baking them?” a small voice in my head asked as I was typing up my mastered skillet-fried tostones technique to share with you.
I put my post on hold and turned on the oven. Baked tostones, it turns out, are fantastic. They’re easier to make than fried tostones, use less oil, and provide a crisp product that tastes more like plantains than oil. Hooray!
These baked tostones are a lot of fun to make. Serve them as a side dish with Caribbean dishes, or make them for game days or afternoon munchies.
They’re particularly good with a strong, creamy dipping sauce like this Aji Verde. Please give them a try and let me know how you like them.
What are plantains, exactly?
Bananas are a type of plantain. They grow in tropical places all throughout the world, just like bananas. Plantains are larger than conventional bananas, have more starch, and are less sweet.
You’ll need unripe, green plantains to make tostones.
Plantains that aren’t quite ripe are firmer and less sweet than those that are fully ripe. Tostones can’t be made using ripe plantains since they’ll turn into caramelized, soft maduros (fried sweet plantains).
Tostones: Baked vs. Fried
Tostones are excellent no matter how you prepare them. For the following reasons, I prefer the baked method:
Tostones baked in the oven are simpler to produce. Because they bake in the oven for two fifteen-minute intervals, they’re more of a passive effort (the perfect time to prepare your dipping sauce).
Tostones baked in the oven use 75% less oil. The plantain flavor shines through in baked tostones, which are crunchy but a little chewy.
Fried tostones necessitate a little more babysitting, as you should never leave an oil skillet unattended.
Pan-fried tostones use a lot of oil (around a cup for only a few plantains) and only leave approximately half of it in the pan. Fried plantains are especially crispy, yet they taste more like ambiguously fried good stuff than plantains.
How to Make Tostones in the Oven
The whole recipe may be seen below, but here’s the gist:
- Plantains should be peeled and sliced.
- On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, toss the sliced plantains with oil. Make a uniform layer of them.
- After 15 minutes in the oven, they should be tender enough to smash.
- Here’s where the fun begins: Using the base of a liquid measuring cup or something similar, gently break each round into a flattened disc.
- Additional oil should be brushed on both sides of each round. Season with a large amount of salt.
- Bake for another 15 minutes, or until the plantains are brown and crisp. Enjoy!
recipe for crunchy baked tostones
Notes on Oil
Avocado oil has a high smoking point and is thought to be the healthiest of the high-heat oils, so I used it. Oils from safflower or grapeseed would also work.
I also used extra-virgin olive oil, which is my preferred method for roasting vegetables. However, my nose alerted me that the oil had overheated when baking the plantains, which is why I recommend a higher heat oil.
Tostones Serving Suggestions
These fried plantains are a tasty appetizer or side dish. They’re particularly good with a creamy dipping sauce, such as Aji Verde, Creamy Chipotle Sauce, or mayonnaise blended with gochujang (Korean red chili sauce), to taste.
Plantains can be served on the side with Caribbean or Latin American dishes. Although I don’t have many real Caribbean recipes on my blog, here are a few suggestions:
- Fresh Black Bean
- Burrito Bowl
- 10-Minute Quesadillas
- Easy Black Bean Tacos: Toss the tacos with the same creamy salsa.
- Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with Spicy Black Bean Soup
Crispy Baked Tostones
|15-minute prep time
30 minutes to prepare
45 minutes in total
Serving: 4 to 6 servings
This surefire method will teach you how to create crispy tostones (baked, not fried). Tostones, which are prepared from unripe green plantains, are savory and salty delicacies.
The dish serves 4 to 6 people; you could easily quadruple it by placing two baking sheets in the oven’s upper and lower thirds.
- 3 large unripe (solid green) plantains (about 2 ¼ pounds)
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil or other quality cooking oil, divided
- Flaky sea salt or kosher salt*, to taste
- Recommended dipping sauce: Aji Verde or Creamy Chipotle Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). To prevent sticking, line a big, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To make the plantains, follow these steps: Here’s a video that can help. Each plantain should have both ends cut off. Cut a plantain’s peel from top to bottom using the point of a paring knife, following the curve of the plantain as you go. Cut only deep enough to cut through the skin (less than 14 inches deep)—you’ll acquire a feel for it as you go. Rep on the plantain two more times, for a total of three evenly spaced slits. Pry off each portion with your fingers or a spoon pointed downward. Repeat with the remaining plantains, discarding the skins. Set aside the plantains, which should be cut into 1-inch thick rounds.
- Toss the cut plantains with 2 tablespoons of oil on the prepared baking sheet. Spread them out equally in the pan, flat sides down. Place the pan on a heat-safe surface after 15 minutes of baking.
- Gently press one round with the bottom of a glass liquid measuring cup (or mason jar or other robust glass) to reach roughly a 14-inch thickness. For each round, repeat the process.
- Brush a little layer of oil over the tops of each round, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Brush the other sides as well (you may need to use just a bit more than 2 tablespoons oil here). Over the circles, sprinkle the salt.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 14 to 17 minutes, or until brown and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If preferred, serve warm with dipping sauce.
- SALT NOTE: Use 1/4 teaspoon fine salt if you don’t have either of the recommended salts.