I have a confession to make. Given my dislike of bananas (except in blended drinks and in baked goods) and an unpleasant run-in I had with a plantain dessert quite a few years back (after which I determined plantains were bananas’ uglier, starchier cousins), I’ve often glared disdainfully when passing by plantains.
Fast forward a few years to a couple savory – and much tastier – plantain preparations, and suddenly I find myself pulling a Heidi Klum: declaring plantains in and potatoes out; then double cheek-kissing my dear old potato pal as I bid him auf wiedersehen.
In a baked chip form, plantains become a fun snack food. For the easiest, most consistent preparation (and even crispiness), use a mandolin or, for the less gadgety among us (me included!), a regular vegetable peeler to thinly slice the plantains. (Trust me; I tried to very thinly slice some of the plantain by hand, and the results weren’t quite as uniform; plus they took longer to crisp up on the oven.)
Lay the slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and a light mist of oil, sprinkle of salt, and several minutes in the oven is all that stands between you and a crunchy snack.
Enjoy as is, or pulse them in a food processor to create plantain crumbs – excellent for coating your favorite fish.
But more on that later …
Baked Plantain Chips
When picking out plantains, keep in mind that, unlike bananas, greener is better. Also, if you don’t have a mandoline (I don’t!), I found that a vegetable peeler worked best for “slicing” the plantains to a consistent thinness.
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 to 1 tsp. spices of choice, such as cumin, cayenne, chili powder (optional)
Preheat oven to 400F.
Use a knife to remove plantain peel. Thinly slice the plantain (1/16th inch is preferable, but 1/8th inch will work), using a mandoline or a regular vegetable peeler for most consistent slicing and cooking time. (If using a peeler, it’s easiest to cut through the plantain lengthwise.)
Toss plantain slices with oil (or you can spread them out on the baking sheet first and spray them with oil), salt and spices (if using). Spread slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake until golden and crispy, flipping slices over halfway through, about 8 to 12 minutes total depending on the thickness of the slices. After flipping, pay attention, as chips can quickly go from golden brown to burnt and inedible. Remove from oven, and serve. Chips are best enjoyed immediately.