Once upon a time I thought pressed plantains were wholly and solely owned by Jamaicans. This starchy treat can be found at most cook shops particularly on the breakfast menu
This is the home made, origin of banana chips a thinner often crispier snack which is the Jamaican answer to potato chips and the corner stone of the shop around the corner or a child’s lunch box.
Many an adult has been known to ‘ring the alarm’ when the endeared chippies brand can suddenly be found sending a flock of enthusiasts running to purchase.
Home made pressed plantains though are nice and crunchy on the outside and softer on the inside.
Imagine my momentary surprise when I discovered they also existed in Spain and Mexico and were known as tostadas
The surprise soon subsided though as the “out of many one people’ motto that makes us innately Jamaican, has a deep rooted presence of Spaniards as a part of our history.
Now that the background and love of banana chips has been declared, here is how you can make your own pressed plantains at home.
Peel your green plantain and cut in chunks 1-2” thick
Fry the top and bottom and sides of the chunks until golden brown
Place on a paper towel and fold it over the chunk of plantain. Use a mug to press the plantains (see where the name came from)
Place plantains back in pan to fry on both sides until golden brown
When the plantains are finished, drained on a paper towel and sprinkle salt and enjoy
When pressed very thin, this can be used with dips or toppings such as a callaloo dip, cheese dip, gundy or pick up saltfish.
Thinner chips can also be achieved by cutting the plantain in smaller chunks. Don’t go too small though or you will lose the right texture when pressed.