lard or vegetable shortening to cover half the thickness of plantains
Peel and bias cut (diagonal) into one-inch thick slices. Heat the oil until medium hot — a drop of water will sizzle.
Fry the pieces briefly, about a minute or two per side. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking, turning occasionally until they are brown and caramelized.
VARIATION: Some people like to lightly roll the plantains in white or brown sugar before frying (which is what I did)
Maduros (Sweet Plantains): A Primer
Are you a fan of plantain but don’t understand the difference between maduros and plátanos? Fear not! In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two and talk about how to prepare the seemingly daunting, yet delicious, maduros.
What Are Maduros?
Maduros are sweet plantains that have been cooked. Maduro is Spanish for “ripe” and maduros are cooked until they are soft. The outside of the maduro is caramelized and the inside is sweet. Maduros are found in many different cuisines and are a popular side dish or snack. They are most common in Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, but have recently gained popularity in the U.S.
Much like unripe plantain, maduros can be baked, fried, boiled, steamed, or even microwaved. Maduros are often eaten by themselves as a snack, but can also be used as a side dish or topping on numerous dishes. They are also used to make desserts, like tres leches cake.
The difference between maduros and other types of plantain lies in how long they are cooked. Unlike green plantains, which are cooked for a shorter period of time, maduros require more time. As they cook, the skin of the maduro softens and darkens to a deep golden brown or almost black. The flesh inside softens to a sweet taste, and the sugars from the starches in the fruit caramelize.
Making maduros is surprisingly easy. To begin, start with ripe plantains. If they’re too green, the maduros will not have the desired sweetness. You can tell if a plantain is ripe by looking for a deep yellow/brown color. Once you have the right amount of plantains, it’s time to cut them. Cut both ends off of the plantain and use a knife to make shallow slices in the plantain’s skin. Don’t cut the plantain too deeply since you don’t want to cut into the flesh of the fruit. Peel each plantain and cut into slices about ½” thick.
Once the plantains are cut, you can either fry or bake them. To fry, heat about 1” of oil in a large pan until it reaches 375°F. Gently place the plantain slices in the hot oil and fry until they’re golden brown—about 1 minute per side. Once they’re done, remove them from the oil and place on a paper towel to cool.
If baking, preheat your oven to 375°F and place the slices onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle the slices with a bit of salt and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and soft.
Once the maduros are finished cooking, let them cool for a few minutes before eating.
Serving and Eating
Maduros can be served as a side dish, snack, or even as a main course. They serve as a great accompaniment to many dishes, like tacos, stews, stir-fries, soups, and rice. In some countries, they are often served as snacks- with cheese, ground beef, or even honey. Maduros can also be used to top salads, tacos, or burritos. You can also add them to smoothies or blend them into sauces for added sweetness.
To store maduros, let them cool all the way and then cover them in foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. The maduros will keep for up to three days. To reheat them, place in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes or until they’re heated through and crispy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between plátanos and maduros?
A: Plátanos are unripe or green plantains that have a starchy texture and flavor. Maduros, on the other hand, are ripe plantains that have been cooked until they are soft and caramelized on the outside.
Q: How do you store maduros?
A: To store maduros, let them cool all the way and then cover them in foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. The maduros will keep for up to three days. To reheat them, place in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes or until they’re heated through and crispy.
Q: What can you use maduros for?
A: Maduros can be a side dish, snack, or even a main course. They can also be added to salads, tacos, burritos, and smoothies or blended into sauces.
4 ripe plantains
1/4 cup lard or vegetable shortening
1/4 cup white sugar (optional)
Slice the plantains into 1/8” thick pieces.
Heat the lard or shortening in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the slices of plantains to the pan and fry for about 2 minutes per side, until lightly golden brown.
Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the Maduros are brown and caramelized – about 10 minutes.
(Optional) Roll the Maduros lightly in white or brown sugar.
Remove the Maduros from the pan and allow to cool slightly before serving.
For a healthier version, omit the sugar and fry the Maduros in 1 teaspoon of oil.
Maduros can be served as a side dish for a main course, as a snack, or even as dessert.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Floribbean
- Diet: Halal
Keywords: Maduros, Plantains, Sweet Plantains, Side Dish, Floribbean, Vegetarian,