There are two types of plantain crisps: the most common ones today are made of ripe plantains and are sweet. But the original African ones are made from unripe plantains and are salted. To me they are definitely the best. They are both sliced into tin round pieces and fried in oil.
- Fresh plantains (ripe or unripe as preferred: I personally prefer unripe plantain crisps but most people with a sweet tooth or other will prefer ripe plantains crisps – don’t be prejudiced by the name unripe they are simply green)
- Oil to fry: The oil is traditionally palm oil but any standard fry-able vegetable oil can be used, preferably peanut or sunflower oil. We avoid the ones with vague names like ‘vegetable’ oil and definitely the ones that cannot withstand high temperatures such as olive oil. In Africa, palm oil is cheaper and ensures a more golden look.
- Salt to taste
The fresh plantains (ripe or unripe) are washed then peeled to reveal the flesh. For unripe plantain it is traditional to slightly grate the surface with a knife to remove the surface film. The plantains are then sliced into very thin round-shaped pieces. These pieces can then be quickly fried in a slightly hot small pan filled with oil up to half of it, until they are light gold.