This post is also available in: Español
Golden, crisp and salty, Tostones are the favorite Dominican side dish. Best if consumed with meats, eggs, cheese, seafood and practically any other food you can think of.
Tostones are Dominicans’ favorite side dish. Plantains, in general, are considered the ultimate Dominican food ingredient, to the point where a plantain is used as a symbol of patriotism by Dominican people who live in other countries.
Plantains are a main grocery ingredient in this household. There is no grocery trip in which I do not buy at least a handful. I think there is no Dominican home where plantains are not a must-have ingredient at all times. You can make it two different ways: boiled and fried.
Once boiled, you can eat it in pieces or as mangú (mashed plantains). Fried can be made as plantain chips or Tostones.
What are Tostones?
Tostones are fried green plantain rounds, flatten and then fried again.
How much simpler can this side dish be? What’s best is that you can eat it with practically anything. The versatility of the plantain is amazing.
I love Tostones con salami (Dominican sausage), fried cheese and eggs. It is just one of those easy, quick meals that you just cut up and throw in a pan to fry. Fifteen minutes later you are having a great dinner. No fuss. But I also love it with shrimp and roasted pork, as pictured here.
For best results, tostones are made with green plantains. If you make them with ripe (yellow) plantains the texture and flavor won’t be the same because ripe plantains are sweeter. Sweet plantains make for a completely different recipe called Maduros (Fried Sweet Plantains) and it’s also very delicious.
How to Make Tostones?
To make this delicious recipe, first, you have to peel the plantains. Check out this post for my step by step tutorial on how to easily peel plantains.
Then, cut the plantains into 1-inch thick rounds and fry them in vegetable oil for about 3 – 4 minutes on each side. Transfer into a plate lined with a paper towel. With the bottom of a bottle, small pan or tostonera if you have one, press on the plantains to flatten them to about half their original size.
Return the pressed plantains to the hot oil. Fry until crisp around the edges, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil, place on a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
That is all! Serve them hot with the side of your choice!
Why are my Tostones falling Apart?
If the tostones fall apart when you press them, it’s because you did not let them cook through enough when frying the first time around. If this happens when you press the first tostón, return the plantain rounds back to the oil before pressing them and let them cook a bit longer.
Can you make Tostones ahead of time?
One thing about tostones is that you must eat them right after cooking because after a while they turn hard and the texture is not as appealing to eat. With that said, you can totally make tostones ahead. The trick is to fry them just once and press them ahead of time. After pressing the tostones, reserve in a container stacking them with parchment paper in between to avoid sticking and place in the fridge. When ready to eat, remove from refrigerator and fry them the second time to get them hot and crispy.
This is the best method I’ve found to make tostones ahead of time and it works perfectly every time.
Other plantain recipes you might enjoy:
Tostones (Fried Plantains)
- 2 large green plantains
- 2 cups vegetable or canola oil for frying
- salt to taste
- Peel the plantains and cut into 1-inch thick slices.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the plantains until lightly golden on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Using the bottom of a bottle, small saucepan, or tostonera if you have one, press down the plantains to flatten them to about half their original size.
- Return the pressed plantains to the hot oil. Fry until crisp around the edges, about 2 minutes on each side.
- I recommend using a tostonera to press the plantains.
- If the tostones fall apart when you press them, it is because you did not let them cook enough when you fry them the first time. If this happens returb the plantain slices to the oil before pressing them and let them cook a little longer.
- To make tostones ahead of time, fry them just once and press. After pressing the tostones, reserve them in a container stacking them with parchment paper to avoid sticking and place in the fridge. When they are ready to eat, take them out of the refrigerator and fry them a second time so they are hot and crispy.
Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in March 2015. It was updated in July 2019 with new photos and extra notes and tips.