I used to eat plantains only once in a blue moon, but these days I enjoy them as part of my dinner on a weekly basis. Unripe, green plantain slices are delicious fried up in coconut oil, and while I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of having them cooked in that simple way, I had been wanting to experiment with ripe plantains.
This fritter recipe is a lovely and uncomplicated way to serve plantains with a little added sweetness and spice. Choose ripe plantains, which are yellow with some black marks starting to show – they are naturally much sweeter and more flavorful than green plantains. Add a little allspice and shredded coconut to give the fritters great flavor and texture, and throw in some bacon for good measure. If you’d prefer to make them vegetarian, just omit the bacon and cook up the fritters in pure coconut oil.
Sweet & Savory Plantain Fritters:
*serves 4 as a side dish*
2 strips best quality, thick cut bacon
3 very ripe plantains (yellow turning black)
¼ C. unsweetened, shredded coconut
¼ tsp. allspice
generous pinch of sea salt
coconut oil, for frying
Render the bacon slices in a wide pan over medium heat until lightly crisped. Turn off the heat, remove, and set aside to cool, leaving the fat behind in the pan. Peel the plantains and place them in a large bowl. Add the shredded coconut, allspice, and salt, and smash using the back of a fork until well combined but still slightly chunky. Chop the bacon and crumble into the plantain mixture, mixing to distribute.
Reheat the bacon fat in the pan over medium-low heat along with 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to make a nice ¼ inch deep layer of fat for frying. Once hot, scoop approximately 2 Tbsp. spoonfuls of the plantain mixture into the pan and cook for about 3 minutes on the first side or until lightly browned. Carefully flip the fritters with a spatula and continue to cook on the other side for a similar amount of time. Remove and set aside to cool slightly while finishing with all of the batter, adding more coconut oil of necessary.
Serve the plantain fritters with your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce and some guacamole alongside a simple grilled or roasted meat dish.