9 Secrets to Extra Crispy Sweet Plantain Chips Every Time
Plantain chips are one of my favorite snacks. I would choose sweet plantain chips over my favorite salt and vinegar potato chips any day, and if I am not too careful sometimes I can eat too much. For years now I tried to make plantain chips at home, just like my mom used to make them, but I was never successful until recently. Along the way, I picked up a few tips and tricks after my many failed attempts that are guaranteed to get crispy plantain chips every time. Trust me on this one, I’ve messed up enough times to know.
Do not use over ripe plantains
While I do prefer ripe plantain chips to unripe plantain chips, over ripe plantains do not work at all for plantain chips. Think of them like bananas; if they look like they are ready to be used for banana bread, or are ready to go into the freezer for a smoothie, then it’s too ripe. If the plantain is mostly black and hardly yellow, then it’s too ripe as well.
Unless you are a skilled knife expert, don’t hesitate to use a mandolin slicer
My mom is the most skilled chef I know, and she can get evenly thin slices of plantain using a knife with her eyes closed… but I’m not that skilled yet. I’ve tried so many times to get it right with a knife, and I have failed every time. I did myself a favor and got a mandolin slicer, then things started improving.
Make sure your oil is at the right temperature
Specifically between 350-375 degrees F. If your oil is not hot enough, the plantain chips will be too limp or they become chewy and hard; if your oil is too hot, the plantain simply burns fast.
Do not salt or season the plantains before frying them
Seasoning the plantain chips right after they come out of the oil is a better option because the plantains end up crisper. I find that salting the plantains before frying them makes the chips unpleasantly chewy.
Place the plantain chips in the hot oil one at a time, or in a single layer
Placing stacked plantain slices into the oil may not be a problem, but it increases the chances of the plantain chips clumping together.
Flip the chips continuously!
While the chips are frying, flip them as often as you can. You can do this by just gently moving the chips around the oil with a kitchen spider. I still don’t get why this works, but it does.
Watch the color and listen for the sizzle
You will know when the chips are ready to come out of the oil not only from the color (golden brown for ripe plantains, and lightly gold for unripe plantains), but also from the level of sizzling. Once the plantain chips are done, they sizzle significantly less in the oil than when they are not done. Try it… you will notice it, the sizzling almost stops.
Season while hot
After your chips come out of the oil, drain properly then season while it’s still hot. I like to season my chips with salt and cayenne pepper.
Cool completely before serving
Even though the chips may be crisp straight from the oil, it is best for them to cool completely before they are served to allow them to reach ULTIMATE CRISPNESS.
If they happen to survive longer than one hour after they are served, store the crisp plantain chips in an air tight container to ensure the ULTIMATE CRISPNESS is maintained.
Happy Snacking people!