Whether baked or fried, this Latin American staple makes for a crispy, crunchy, and healthy snack.

By Melanie Fincher
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Have you ever tried plantain chips? Plantains are a staple in many cultures, and no, they're not the same as bananas. You can find plantain chips at many health food stores, or maybe you've had some at a local restaurant. But why pay someone else to make them when they can be easily made in your own kitchen? Read on for two simple methods for cooking plantain chips: baked and fried.

What Are Plantains? Where Do You Buy Them?

A plantain is actually a type of banana. To be more specific, it's a larger, more starchy version of banana that's commonly used in Latin, African, and Caribbean cuisine. When it comes to cooking, plantains are treated more like a vegetable than a fruit.

While they're not typically consumed raw, unripe, green plantains are perfect for making chips since they're starchier and less sweet than yellow and brown plantains. Most major grocery stores carry them in the produce section, but you can also find them at health food stores and specialty markets. Plantain chips make a great snack food, side dish, or appetizer for a variety of dishes.

How to Make Baked Plantain Chips

For plantain chips that are lower in fat and calories, try baked plantain chips. Baked plantain chips will be a little more dry on the inside than fried, but it's worth the trade off for fewer calories.

Ingredients:

  • 2 green plantains
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Carefully remove the peels of the plantain by cutting of the ends with a knife and cutting a slit down the seam. Pull the peel back from the plantain.
  4. Use a sharp knife or a mandolin to thinly slice the plantains.
  5. Toss plantains with vegetable oil.
  6. Arrange plantain slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Bake until golden crisp, about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  8. Drain plantains on paper towels and serve with Pico de Gallo or guacamole, if desired.

How to Make Fried Plantain Chips

Despite the fact that they're higher in fat and calories, fried plantain chips are crisp all the way through. And they're still a great alternative to potato chips. These instructions are based off of Luthiena's Plantain Chips recipe. Have an air fryer? This air fryer plantain chips recipe is what you're looking for.

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 green plantains
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 375 degrees or heat up a large skillet with up to ½ inch oil on medium-high heat.
  2. Carefully remove the peels of the plantain by cutting of the ends with a knife and cutting a slit down the seam. Pull the peel back from the plantain.
  3. Use a sharp knife or a mandolin to thinly slice the plantains. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Fry the plantain slices about a dozen at a time until golden brown on both sides, or about 4 minutes.
  5. Drain plantains on paper towels and serve with Pico de Gallo or guacamole, if desired.

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