Patacones (Unripe Fried Plantains)


Plantains contain more starch and less sugar than dessert bananas and are therefore usually cooked or otherwise processed before being eaten. They are always cooked or fried when eaten green. At this stage, the pulp is hard and the peel often so stiff that it has to be cut with a knife to be removed. Mature plantains can be peeled like typical dessert bananas; the pulp is softer than in immature, green fruit and some of the starch has been converted to sugar. They can be eaten raw, but are not as flavorful in that state as dessert bananas, so are usually cooked. When mature, yellow plantains are fried, they tend to caramelize, turning a golden-brown color. They can also be boiled, baked, microwaved or grilled over charcoal, peeled or still in the peel.

An average plantain has about 220 calories and is a good source of potassium and dietary fiber.

Plantains are a staple food in the tropical regions of the world, the tenth most important staple that feeds the world. Plantains are treated in much the same way as potatoes and with a similar neutral flavour and texture when the unripe fruit is cooked by steaming, boiling or frying.


A plate filled with Patacones (unripe, fried plantains)


Davis wanted to make plantains. But when he discovered that Eleonora R. from Venezuela had previously made some, he decided to make them 2 different ways. We went to the nearby Asian markets, but except for a few plantains, they didn’t have the ingredients Davis wanted. So we drove a few miles to a great Latin American market.

Markets in New Taipei (Rosemead)

Hoabinh Supermarket
Asian Groceries
8235 Garvey Ave, Rosemead, CA 91770
0.6 miles from RULA

The Square Supermarket
Asian Groceries
8150 Garvey Ave, Rosemead, CA 91770
0.6 miles from RULA

General Groceries & more
1827 Walnut Grove Ave, Rosemead, CA 91770
0.8 miles from RULA

Gonzalez Northgate Market
Latin American Groceries
3828 N Peck Rd, El Monte, CA 91732
5 miles from RULA

Davis in a grocer store aisle. The shelves are topped with international flags
Davis shopping at Gonzalez Northgate market
big baskets of different chili's
Hot Stuff!
Davis at the checkout stand at Gonzalez Northgate market
Davis checks out!

Panama Menu

Davis wound up making 3 different (amazing!) treats:

  • “Ripe Plantains” similar to the ones Eleonora made
  • Rice with Green Pigeon Peas
  • Patacones, fried green plantains
photo of a hand-written recipe for Patacones
Davis’ recipe for Patacones!
plantains frying on the stove
Davis at the kitchen sink
Davis in action!
Davis putting patacones on a plate
Davis serving Patacones!

All 3 of Davis’ dishes were soooooo good!

Delicious rice. Yummy plantains. And the Patacones, wow! The salt & paprika makes them really great. We tried dipping them in different things: catsup, shrimp cocktail sauce, etc, all delightful!

table with food dishes on it
Rice, Plantains & Patacones!


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