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Golden, crisp and salty, Tostones are the favorite Dominican side dish. Best if consumed with meats, eggs, cheese, seafood and practically any other food you can think of.
Tostones are Dominicans’ favorite side dish. Plantains, in general, are considered the ultimate Dominican food ingredient, to the point where a plantain is used as a symbol of patriotism by Dominican people who live in other countries.
Plantains are a main grocery ingredient in this household. There is no grocery trip in which I do not buy at least a handful. I think there is no Dominican home where plantains are not a must-have ingredient at all times. You can make it two different ways: boiled and fried.
Once boiled, you can eat it in pieces or as mangú (mashed plantains). Fried can be made as plantain chips or Tostones.
What are Tostones?
Tostones are fried green plantain rounds, flatten and then fried again.
How much simpler can this side dish be? What’s best is that you can eat it with practically anything. The versatility of the plantain is amazing.
I love Tostones con salami (Dominican sausage), fried cheese and eggs. It is just one of those easy, quick meals that you just cut up and throw in a pan to fry. Fifteen minutes later you are having a great dinner. No fuss. But I also love it with shrimp and roasted pork, as pictured here.
For best results, tostones are made with green plantains. If you make them with ripe (yellow) plantains the texture and flavor won’t be the same because ripe plantains are sweeter. Sweet plantains make for a completely different recipe called Maduros (Fried Sweet Plantains) and it’s also very delicious.
How to Make Tostones?
To make this delicious recipe, first, you have to peel the plantains. Check out this post for my step by step tutorial on how to easily peel plantains.
Then, cut the plantains into 1-inch thick rounds and fry them in vegetable oil for about 3 – 4 minutes on each side. Transfer into a plate lined with a paper towel. With the bottom of a bottle, small pan or tostonera if you have one, press on the plantains to flatten them to about half their original size.
Return the pressed plantains to the hot oil. Fry until crisp around the edges, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil, place on a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
That is all! Serve them hot with the side of your choice!
Why are my Tostones falling Apart?
If the tostones fall apart when you press them, it’s because you did not let them cook through enough when frying the first time around. If this happens when you press the first tostón, return the plantain rounds back to the oil before pressing them and let them cook a bit longer.
Can you make Tostones ahead of time?
One thing about tostones is that you must eat them right after cooking because after a while they turn hard and the texture is not as appealing to eat. With that said, you can totally make tostones ahead. The trick is to fry them just once and press them ahead of time. After pressing the tostones, reserve in a container stacking them with parchment paper in between to avoid sticking and place in the fridge. When ready to eat, remove from refrigerator and fry them the second time to get them hot and crispy.
This is the best method I’ve found to make tostones ahead of time and it works perfectly every time.
Other plantain recipes you might enjoy:
Tostones (Plátanos Fritos)
- 2 plátanos verdes grandes
- 2 cups aceite vegetal o de canola para freír
- sal al gusto
- Retire la piel de los plátanos y córtelos en rodajas de 1 pulgada de grosor.
- En una sartén grande, calienta el aceite a fuego medio. Fríe los plátanos hasta que estén ligeramente dorados por ambos lados, unos 5 minutos. Transfiere a un plato forrado con una toalla de papel.
- Con el fondo de una botella, cacerola pequeña o tostonera si tienes una, presiona los plátanos para aplanarlos a aproximadamente la mitad de su tamaño original.
- Return the pressed plantains to the hot oil. Fry until crisp around the edges, about 2 minutes on each side.
- Regrese los plátanos aplanados al aceite caliente. Freír hasta que estén crujientes alrededor de los bordes, aproximadamente 2 minutos por cada lado.
- Recomiendo usar una tostonera para presionar los plátanos.
- Si los tostones se deshacen cuando los presionas, es porque no los dejaste cocinar lo suficiente al freír la primera vez. Si esto sucede al presionar el primer tostón, regresa las rodajas de plátano al aceite antes de presionarlas y déjelas cocinar un poco más.
- Para preparar tostones con anticipación, fríelos solo una vez y presiónalos. Después de presionar los tostones, resérvalos en un recipiente apilándolos con papel pergamino para evitar que se peguen y coloca en la nevera. Cuando estén listos para comer, sacarlos del refrigerador y freírlos por segunda vez para que estén calientes y crujientes.
Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in March 2015. It was updated in July 2019 with new photos and extra notes and tips.