Boiled plantain is a delicious, sweet side dish that pairs well with any savory lunch and is really simple to make.
To make boiled plantain, simply cut the plantain into small one-inch discs and place in boiling water for 15 to 25 minutes to soften. Drain the water, rinse and serve.
Isn’t it simple? Here are more details on how to make boiled plantain.
How to make the boiled plantains
This gives you a good indication of the ripeness of the plantain I used for this recipe.
Use ripe plantains
You will want to use very ripe plantains for this recipe since they are much sweeter when cooked. You can tell ripeness by the color of the peel.
Ripe plantains have slightly dark yellow peels with black spots on them. The black spots usually indicate the starches in the plantain are being converted into sugars. And that’s exactly what you want for boiling – a sweet, delicious plantain.
You can also use half ripe plantains in this recipe, but they will taste starchier and less sweet.
Decide on the peel
You can make this recipe with or without removing the peels of the plantain. Removing the peels will allow the plantain to soak up more water and become slightly soggy. Leaving the peels on allows the plantain to hold its shape better but requires more clean up.
You can do it both ways.
To start, wash the plantain and cut off its ends. Slice to produce 1-inch circular pieces. The thicker the pieces are, the longer the plantain will take to cook. So one-inch pieces are great.
Alternatively, after cutting off the ends, gently slice into the plantain peel along its length. Pull off the peel and discard. From there, cut the plantain again into one-inch pieces.
How long to boil plantains
Place the plantain in a pot of boiling water on medium heat and leave to soften for 20 minutes or so.
There may be white frothiness in the water. This is due to the starches in the plantains. You can skim the froth off if you like or leave and rinse off later.
Strain and rinse
As the pieces boil, they change color from pale cream to a vibrant yellow. They also absorb some water and expand. You will notice this more in the pieces with the peels on.
Stick a fork into the center of the plantain to check for doneness. If the fork pierces the plantain easily, then remove from the heat and strain.
The white frothiness will still be present so rinse the plantain pieces and strain again.
If you left the peels on like I did, allow the plantains to cool before removing the skin.
Serve as a sweet side dish with savory lunch meals. Boiled plantain is incredibly versatile and goes well with pelau, rice and beans, and more.
How long do you boil plantains for
Plantains will completely soften in boiling water on medium heat within 15 to 25 minutes. The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the plantain pieces. For this recipe, 1-inch plantain pieces took 20 minutes to completely cook.
What do boiled plantains taste like
Boiled ripe plantains have a very sweet, mild banana taste. Half ripe plantains, when boiled, have a much starchier, banana-like taste and are not as sweet. The sweetness, therefore, depends on how ripe the fruit is before boiling.
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 boiled plantains with
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.