Tostonis are the Dominican equivalent to French fries. That is not to say you can’t find French fries here. I know there are some of you who would never dream of coming to country where you can’t get French fries. You can rest assured that you can find French fries here.
But, more commonly you will find tostonis come with the plate of the day instead of French fries. That may sound strange seeing tostonis are made from a relative of the banana, the plantain, but they are actually pretty good. They are not quite the same as a French fry, more like a combination of a French fry and a potato chip.
Tostonis are actually pretty simple to make, the biggest thing you need to worry about is the source material. Being that the plantain is a close relative of the banana, you need to be careful as to how you choose your plantain.
Where to Find it
First of all, where to find it. If you live in the Dominican Republic you are looking platanos. I don’t need to say more, if you can’t find platanos, you probably haven’t looked because they are in every corner market in the country.
If you are in the states or Europe, it might be a little harder. If you don’t have South American market in the area, you might try Safeway or Raley’s.
What to look for
Second what you are looking for, a plantain, looks almost exactly like a banana except it is a little bit bigger. There are redish yellow plantains too, but those are the mature plantains, not what you are looking for. They have a tangy flavor and are similar to a banana. Unless you want deep fried bananas, you want to use the unripened green plantains.
Now that you have the plantains here is the recipe.
Plantains - in Spanish – platanos
Oil – in Spanish – acete
Salt - in Spanish – sal
To give you an idea of how many plantains to use, 8 plantains will fill up a dinner plate.
First, peeling a plantain like a banana is next to impossible, so you are going to want to cut off all the skin.
Next, cut the plantain in ¼ inch segments diagonally, to make oval shaped segments. It doesn’t have to be exact. You can change it according to your taste. Thinner will make it more like a potato chip, thicker will make it more French fry like, but I usually prefer around a ¼ thick.
Now you deep fry them tell they are lightly browned and remove them from the grease.
Then, you take a flat bottomed drink glass and smash all of the segments. You don’t want smash to the point they fall apart, you just want to flatten them a bit.
After smashing them, deep fry them again. Remove from the grease and salt to taste. Enjoy!