Boiled plantain is a delicious, sweet side that pairs well with any savory lunch.
To make boiled plantain, cut the plantain into one-inch discs and place in boiling water on medium heat for 15 to 25 minutes to soften. Drain the water, rinse, peel if necessary, and serve.
Let’s get into the details, shall we?
How to make boiled plantains
Here’s a look at 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.
Find more recipes with plantain here. Learn how to make plantain bread, mofongo and more.
Should you leave the skin on?
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.
I left the skin on here.
Prepare the plantain for boiling
Step 1: Wash the plantain and cut off its ends.
Step 2: Slice into 1-inch circular pieces. Or, if you are removing the skin, simply score the peel along its length and pull off. Discard the peel and slice the plantain into the 1-inch pieces. Thicker pieces will take longer to cook.
How long to boil plantains?
Step 3: Place the plantain in a pot of boiling water on medium heat and leave to soften.
Plantains will completely soften 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.
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.
But how do you know when the plantains are boiled? As the pieces boil, they change color from pale cream to a vibrant yellow and they expand since they absorb water.
Stick a fork into the center of the plantain to check for doneness. The fork should go straight through without any effort.
Strain and rinse
Step 4: Once the plantain has softened, remove from the heat and strain.
Step 5: Rinse and strain again to remove the white frothiness from the starches.
Step 6: If you left the peels on like I did, remove them after the plantain has cooled down.
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.
So 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 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.