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My love affair with el platano continues.

With the abundance of face-sized paltas at the mercado lately, I’ve been making lots of guac. (By the way, I highly recommend this recipe from The Other Side of the Tortilla). But oddly, it can be hard to track down tortilla chips in this town. Las Tortillas de Pancho Villa is lo máximo, but obviously they can’t deliver on the drop of a dime and my guacamole cravings are often unplanned. And guacamole on crackers tastes pretty much as you would expect: not great.

Enter, the plantain chip.

That thing I said before about preferring my plantains super ripe and sweet instead of starchy? Yeah, scratch that. I’m a liar. These are flippin’ delicious.

Make sure you choose plantains that are nice and green, not ripe. I used a mandoline to slice the plantains lengthwise because I like the presentation better, but you can also just use a sharp knife or slice them up like coins. Make sure you keep an eye on them as they fry so they don’t burn. And whatever you do, DO NOT skip the seasoning! It’s la bomba.

This recipe is modified from one that originally appeared in Gourmet.


2 tsp. finely grated lime zest

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (1/2 if you’re using cayenne pepper hecho en Argentina)

vegetable oil

4 green plantains

Stir together zest, salt, and cayenne pepper and set aside.

Cut ends from plantains and score skin of each plantain 5 times lengthwise, avoiding ridges. Soak in hot tap water for about 5 minutes before peeling. Meanwhile, cover bottom of a 5-quart heavy pot with about a half-inch of vegetable oil and heat over moderate heat. It should be nice and hot before you drop in the plantains, or they will absorb oil rather than crisp.

Cut the peeled plantains lengthwise with a U-shaped peeler or mandolin into very thin strips. Place 6 – 10 strips in the hot oil (they shouldn’t be touching) and fry, turning frequently, until golden, 45 – 60 seconds. Transfer with tongs to paper towels and sprinkle crisps immediately with salt mixture.

These don’t store so well, so you have an excuse to eat them all immediately.