If you are a fan of tostones, platanutres are going to be another favorite. It’s easier to prepare than tostones and work great as corn chips replacement… and I don’t mean the bags of plantain chips at the store. I like platanutres to be a bit meaty, but not paper thin like the bags at the store.
So proceed to follow the tostones recipe until it’s time to slice the peeled plantain. For platanutres, you want to slice the plantain thin compared to tostones. I slice them to about 1/8”or so, soak them on seasoned water and fry them in heavy bottom skillet or saucepan; the same as tostones without double frying them. If you want to get fancy, use a julienne slicer so they are thin and mostly uniform width.
If you want to get “tropical”, try arañitas. Growing up, I loved arañitas as much as platanutres. They were funny looking with a meaty center and usually well-seasoned. I will eat them by themselves or with any dipping sauce at hand. I think they are kid-friendly and fun to eat. For arañitas, you grate the peeled plantain. Yup, grate the whole green plantain. Once you are done grating, season them with adobo or your preferred seasoning. I usually make little balls with the grated plantains so when it hits the hot oil, it doesn’t crumble. Once frying, they will open up a bit and look like “spiders”. I fry them for about 5 minutes watching their color carefully. Flip them with a spatula or a tong and cook them for another 5 minutes or so. Take them out and drain them on a plate with a napkin. The second side usually doesn’t take as long as the first side. I use medium heat for all this because sometimes impatience can burnt the food. We want golden delicious arañitas with just enough crunchiness. The first bite is usually bit messy because the spider legs tend to come apart in your mouth.
Both platanutres and aranitas can be enjoyed with the dipping sauce of your preference. I have even tried them with chimichurri, guacamole and Whole30 dump ranch. Platanutres, tostones and arañitas go with rice and beans and your option of protein. Here in the Southeast Texas, I love the long thin plantain chip some restaurants make, particularly South American churrasquerias and the sort. It’s been a struggle to find and keep good Puerto Rican places around here. I wanted to try this tripleta truck that had really good reviews, but it’s temporarily closed without re-opening date.