Breakfast / Dairy Free / Egg free / Fresh Produce / Goodness on the Side! / Savory and Splendid! / Snacks

Patacones {Panamanian double fried plantains}

20130623-204424.jpgOne of my favorite meals of all time is a savory chicken sofrito {just a completely awesome sauce} with rice served alongside patacones, or double fried plantains. My mother in law is from Panama and so I have learned to cook a few of the delicious and native foods that she grew up eating….fried plantains being one of them.

My husband’s favorite way to eat these isn’t the double-fried method, which I will be sharing with you today. He certainly doesn’t complain when I make them this way though! I, on the other hand, really enjoy double frying them because the edges get extra crispy and ohhhh-so-good! When cooking patacones I like to use un-ripened, green plantains. We have certainly used the plantains that have become ripe, but they are sweeter, less starchy and tend to brown and blacken much faster. I find that they also don’t get as crispy as the un-ripened version.

You can see the difference between the end result of double frying the ripened plantain {yellow/blackened peel} on the left versus the unripened counterpart {green peel} on the right.

You can see the difference between the end result of double frying the ripened plantain {yellow/blackened peel} on the left versus the unripened counterpart {green peel} on the right.

Patacones can be eaten as an addition to something like eggs for breakfast. How we normally make them is to go along with a meal that has some kind of sauce that they can be dipped in. What a treat! These aren’t necessarily hard to make, but I find having a partner to help in the cooking process can be beneficial because one person can be paying attention to the frying while the other person is smashing the slices of plantains in-between fry sessions. I don’t normally actually have that second person readily available, but it can be fun cooking together!

I hope you enjoy this Panamanian treat of patacones as much as our family does! Enjoy! -Shelley.


Un-ripened, green plantains {however many you wish to cook}
Vegetable oil for frying

This is what the un-ripened, green plantains look like.


First, cut off the very ends of the plantains.


Next, score, or cut a slit {just not very deep} into a couple of places on the plantain the whole length down.


Slide thumb along the length of the score line to remove the peel.



You now have the banana looking fruit. Don’t worry, they do not taste like bananas at all during this stage!


Slice the plantains at a slight slant about 1/4 inch thick.



Heat about 1/2″ of vegetable oil in a skillet on medium-high to high heat. Once the oil is nice and hot, you may have to turn down the temperature a little bit if you notice the patacones are cooking too fast or getting too brown.


Add sliced plantains in a single layer into the hot oil.



When they have just started to brown and have absorbed some of the oil, remove batch of plantains from oil and allow to cool slightly.



Now is the time for the smush-in’. I am not sure the exact term for this, but it is a plantain smusher. Place the once-fried plantains in between and press down, smushing the plantain out in the process. Don’t worry if you don’t have one of these…a cup with a flat bottom gets the job done nicely as well {note: sometimes I do have to use a butter knife to separate the smushed plantain from the glass}.





Once this first batch of once-fried plantains have all been smashed, place in a single layer again in the hot oil for the second fry time. Cook until nice and golden and crispy. This shouldn’t take too long. Again, if you notice they are starting to burn without getting crispy turn the heat down on the stove.




Lay on a paper-towel lined plate after removing from hot oil. Sprinkle with salt while still hot.


*Sometimes when you are smashing the plantains, they can break. No worries…just kind of smash them back together and be careful when placing them in the oil. These pieces I actually really like because I think they get even crispier for some reason.


Once all have been fried, plate up, serve up and enjoy!



If you enjoyed this post you may also like…

Ojaldas {Panamanian Fried Bread}

Ojaldas {Panamanian Fried Bread}

Ojaldas {Panamanian Fried Bread}

5 thoughts on “Patacones {Panamanian double fried plantains}

  1. Pingback: Ojaldas {Panamanian Fried Bread} |

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  4. We call these tostones .and I cook these on the stove top. Double fry. You slice them, lhlitgy fry, then flatten with the bottom of a heavy glass, then do your second fry til nice and crispy, then salt. YUM. This German-Irish-Swedish lass learned this recipe from her son’s Puerto Rican babydaddy’s relatives! lol They are like a cross between chips and fries! We also serve with mojo sauce, a garlicky citrus sauce.


    • Whatever you call them, they are just plain good! That garlic citrus sauce sounds amazing…I will have to try that as well. We use the smash-with-a-glass method as well and I sometimes prefer that to the actual wooden smasher we have for them.

      My mouth is watering right now thinking about eating these. In fact, we have some plantains sitting on the counter top that need to be used so I see us making these again hopefully tonight!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I love how there can be so many foods that are the same or similar from different cultures or regions that are not called by the same name. There is a unifying factor in that. Patacones/tostones = delicioso!


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