Smothering fried sweet plantains in barbecue sauce is something you might think was an accident. Well, it kinda was. One day I had to get creative with a batch of over-fried plantains. If you love a spicy-but-sweet flavor profile, you need to try this. And this easy idea solves a couple of problems people usually have with yellow plantains.
Plantain lovers know they really should be served hot and they don’t reheat very well. When you order them in restaurants, many times they’re mushy, over oily, and luke warm at best. To get around this at home, try three things. Use them when they’re skins are ⅔ black and 1/3 yellow, cut them into tiny cubes, and consider frying them a bit longer than normal. Dicing them creates more caramelized, crispy edges. Plus, they cook faster being much smaller.
Typically I recommend mixing diced fried plantains into rice ‘n bean or chicken ‘n rice dishes for a touch of sweetness with my savory. You could stop here and stir them in as is. However, as plantains sit out they will cool off, so this is where the barbecue sauce comes in to play. It’s not rocket science. Simply heat them up in your heated barbecue sauce. The only rule is to use low heat. You can’t go wrong after that.
The Sauce for fried plantains
Use your favorite blend of barbecue sauce, but choose one that’s not insanely sweet. The fried plantains are already sweet enough. Go spicy and smokey! My personal favorites are Stubb’s and Kingsford. I hold these brands in high regard for their lack of corn syrup, so you don’t get that unwanted sticky texture is delivers. If the sauce is too thick and rich, feel free to thin it out with some plain tomato sauce. Maybe add a little water. Tailor it to your liking.
When it comes to the hot sauce on fried plantains, be generous. My all-time favorite is Grace (pictured below) because it uses Scotch Bonnet peppers and there are no added “spices”. As a devoted hot sauce lover I did a little investigative cross comparison on the ingredients of some popular brands I find here in a Astoria.
- yellow plantains
- canola oil
- your favorite barbecue sauce
- your favorite hot sauce
- plain tomato sauce (optional)
- Combine your choice of barbecue sauce and hot sauce in a small sauce pan. Heat on low, stirring occasionally.
- Peel plantains and cut into cubes.
- Heat some canola oil to medium high in a skillet about 1/2 inch deep … just enough for a shallow fry. Oil is hot enough when it starts to glisten. Use one plantain cube as a tester, when it drops in the oil it should instantly sizzle.
- Once the oil is hot enough, carefully slide in the rest of the plantain cubes. Use a metal spatula to flip them as needed.
- Fry until bolden brown, about 8 minutes. Watch over them constantly, as they tend to go from don to burnt rather quickly.
- Remove the fried plantains from the oil and blot on paper towels.
- Add the fried plantains to the heated hot sauce, stir until combined, and serve.
Enjoy these saucy plantains in burritos, on hot dogs or tacos, alongside my Jamaican Curry Cabbage, or with plain white rice. And if you’re not in the mood to smother them completely, at least pour the sauce on top.