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The Food of My (Husband’s) People – Part Tres: Tostones Versus Maduros

Having not always been on the inside track of Cuban food, I ate the ripe plantains, or maduros, that came with the dish at restaurants.  They’re something I’ve traditionally enjoyed – a bit of sweet with the savory; a nice balance to the food.  However, once again, my husband opened my eyes to something new – tostones!

img_3821Tostones are also plantains, but they are unripe.  Rather than that lovely caramelization the maduros get, tostones are fried crispy and sprinkled with salt and garlic.  So, in a way, they’re more like really thick chips.

It actually took me a while to want tostones instead of maduros with my meal.  I was so used to the sweet plantains, it was hard to change my expectations.  However, when I cooked Cuban food at home, I always wanted to make sure my husband was satisfied.  After all, food is love.  So, I would buy the greenest plantains I could find in the store.

Then I would make him cook them.

I know that doesn’t sound right, but he makes really good tostones!  At least, I think they are better than mine.  Now he has a part to play in the Cuban food we make.

Below, is my husband’s recipe.  Enjoy!


Ingredients (Serves 6-8 people):

  • 6 unripe plantains (as green as you can find them)
  • ½ cup canola or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder



  1. Cut plantains into 1” thick round slices.
  2. Pour enough oil into the pan to coat half of the plantain slice (1/2 inch deep).
  3. Fry plantain slices in the oil until they just begins to brown (about 2 minutes on each side).
  4. Remove slices from the pan and set on a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Allow the plantain slices to cool, and use a second paper towel to flatten each slice evenly.
  6. Place flattened slices back in the oil and cook until golden brown.
  7. Remove from pan and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder.

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