I was first introduced to the plantain in the mid-90s, when I lived with a good friend, and fellow chemist from Saint Lucia. Not being typical students, we cooked every night, alternating between us. She used to always make something really special when it was her turn, but then later realized I enjoyed the more rustic, everyday traditional Caribbean food. Man, I miss her rustic food!
When I first made these chips, I had an obsession with Trader Joe’s roasted plantain chips. I often scoffed a bag when I got home from work – I was tired and needed some energy, but with 900 calories per bag, that’s almost 2/3 of my daily calorie intake! They were damn addictive! Once the bag was open, I had to finish them all – they were slightly salty, very crunchy and they have this indescribable floury/starchy texture.
This version of plantain chips contains NO oil (cutting the calories by almost 2/3), plus you can as much/little seasonings as you wish. Try to choose the greener plantain, as the yellow ones will be slightly sweeter. The resulting plantain chips are crunchy and taste like the store-bought ones, but without the greasiness.
OIL-FREE PLANTAIN CHIPS
Makes about 85 g (3 oz)
As inspired by Fireworks in my Kitchen – Microwave Plantain Chips
- 1 medium/large plantain, mine was 335 g (¾ lb) with skin
- Salt or other seasoning, as required
1. Peel the plantain, by first trimming the ends, then scoring along the lengths of the skin at intervals. Peel one section off at a time to reveal the plantain flesh.
2. Once fully peeled, thinly slice using either a mandolin OR a very sharp knife. Try to get all the slices of the same thickness to ensure even cooking. Separate the slices in a bowl and sprinkle with a little salt*.
3. Arrange on a large, microwaveable plate in a single layer and microwave on full between 2-5 minutes (depending on how many you have on the plate and how thick the slices are – I had two batches, that took 5 minutes each). You do NOT need to turn the chips.
4. Allow to cool on a baking rack and then enjoy!
* Don’t be too generous with the salt, because the flavor intensifies once the plantain chips have cooked.