Boiled plantain is a wonderful, starchy side dish that pairs well with any savory lunch or even breakfast. Ripe plantains have a wonderful, sweet, mild banana taste while half ripe and green plantains are much starchier and not sweet.
To make boiled plantain, cut the fruit into one-inch discs and place in boiling water on medium heat for 15 to 25 minutes to soften. Drain the water, rinse, peel, and serve.
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Ingredients for boiled plantains
For this recipe, you will need:
- plantain: Although you can use plantain at any ripeness stage for this recipe, I highly recommend using very ripe plantains. They are much sweeter and taste better as a side dish in savory meals. But, how to tell if plantains are ripe? Well, the peels of ripe plantains have a deep, yellow color with lots of dark, black spots. Those black spots show up as the starches in the fruit become converted to sugars, so the more black spots, the sweeter, the better. Green to half ripe plantains can also be used here but they are much starchier and not as sweet.
How to make boiled plantain
Prep the ingredients
Step 1: Place a large pot on medium heat. Add water and bring to a boil.
Step 2: Wash the plantain and cut off its ends.
Step 3: You can choose to boil the plantain with the peels or without. If you are leaving the peels on, simply slice the plantain into 1-inch circular pieces (thicker slices will require a longer cook time). If you want to remove the skin, run the knife along the length of the plantain, cutting about 1/8th-inch deep into the peel. Pull off the peel with your fingers then slice the plantain into 1-inch pieces. Removing the peel can cause the plantain to soak up more water and become slightly soggy, so I prefer leaving it on.
Boil the plantain
Step 4: Add the sliced plantain to the water. How long to boil plantain will depend on the thickness of the slices. They usually take about 15 to 25 minutes to soften completely. This batch with the 1-inch pieces took about 20 minutes.
Step 5: Turn off the heat when the boiled plantain pieces have a vibrant yellow color and a fork can easily go straight through the softened plantain.
Step 6: Strain the water out. Give the pieces a quick rinse with cold water to remove any residual white starchy froth.
Step 7: If you left the peels on like I did, remove them after the plantain has cooled down.
Step 8: Serve as a side dish with a savory lunch or even for breakfast. Boiled plantains are incredibly versatile and go well with pelau, rice and beans, and more.
Are boiled plantains healthy?
On average, one hundred grams of plantain provides around 120 Calories. That makes plantain a source of carbs, similar to potatoes and wheat. Plantains also contain 2% fiber, moderate levels of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium.
What can you eat with boiled plantain?
Boiled plantains go especially well with lunch time rice dishes. So, serve the plantains with rice and stewed lentils or red beans, pelau, dhal and rice, fried rice and macaroni pie. The options are endless.
Boiled plantain recipe
Simple boiled plantain recipe
- 2 plantains
- 4 cups water (boiling)
- Place pot on medium heat. Add boiling water.
- Wash the plantains. Cut off both ends.
- Cut the plantain into 1-inch pieces. (Or remove the peel then cut into 1-inch pieces)
- Add the plantain pieces to boiling water.
- Leave to boil until soft (approx. 20 minutes).
- Rinse to remove froth. Strain again.
- Remove the peels (if left on).
- Serve alongside savory meals especially rice dishes.