Like any self-righteous Nigerian, I. Love. Plantains. And I’m not the only one in this fan club. Almost every immigrant I’ve ever met from a tropical country is obsessed with the sweet, crunchy and satisfying that you can only get from a ripe plantain. Feeling like you’re missing out but curious? Here are some delicious ways to enjoy plantain.

But first: what are plantains?

They’re easily confused for “bananas” to the naive, casual onlooker. However, I promise, it will not taste anything like a banana if you eat it “raw.” It will taste starchy, basic (like baking powder) and awful. Plantains need to be cooked.

Plantain tree
Sweet, fried plantain
Plantains are green when unripe & yellower/darker as they ripen

Are they “healthy”?

Yes, relatively speaking! Healthline.com tells us that they’re high in potassium, a good source of vitamins A&C and are pretty filling as they’re a complex carb.

Source: Healthline.com

Great! What are the ways I can cook them then?

  1. Deep fry them!
    • This is the most popular method because it’s certifiable the most delicious way to eat them. They come out crispy and delicious
    • You can fry them with any simple oil ie. canola oil or a mixed vegetable oil
    • Pro tip: For ultimate deliciousness, you can melt some butter into the oil and your plantains will come out extra salty and chewy.
  2. Pan fry them!
    • If you’re trying to lengthen your life span & don’t want to deep fry, this is the next best option. You can use olive oil, slice the plantain thin for faster cooking time and just flip to the other side for a less oil-filled version.
  3. Boil them!
    • Boiling is a much healthier way to eat the plantain, but you usually have to complement it with something to keep it interesting.
    • I like to prepare a tomato & pepper stew/sauce to drizzle on top of the plantain. You can also eat it with a protein like fish or shrimp.
    • Another popular Nigerian dish is beans and plantain. You cook them together and you get a sweet, nutritious bean casserole dish that’s pretty good for you & filling.
  4. Bake them!
    • You can bake your plantain in the oven and stuff them with peppers, mushrooms, cheese or anything else your savory tongue is craving.
  5. Grill them!
    • You can chop them up, drizzle oil and toss them on the grill along with your meats and fish to enjoy them as a side or appetizer.

Am I missing anything? How else do you like to enjoy your plantains? Comment below!