How to Make Costa Rica’s Famous Plantain Dishes

If you’ve paid us a visit to Costa Rica, you have surely fallen head over heels in love with plantains. They are the absolute perfect side dish. They can be served sweet or salty, soft or chewy, even infused. They go wonderfully with breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as an in-between meal snack. If you’ve ever wanted to try to whip up your own delicious batch of plantains, you’re in luck. Below, we have detailed the two main Costa Rica plantain recipes: savory fried plantains known as patacones and sweet fried plantains known as platanos maduros.


Patacones are the salty, savory, often starchy form of fried plantains that are shaped like flat disks and served as a side on many Costa Rican Dishes.


• 2 green plantains. (It is recommended to use about 1 plantain per person for an appetizer and 1 plantain per 2 people for a side dish. Generally, 1 plantain will provide about 4-5 patacones per plantain.)
• Oil for frying, (use an oil that won’t burn at high temperatures like peanut oil or avocado oil.)
• Salt
• Optional: crushed garlic, hot pepper powder, other seasonings

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


1. Peel the plantain entirely.
2. Slice the plantain into ½ inch disks.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan until it’s almost boiling.
4. With extreme CAUTION place a handful of plantain disks into the hot oil. Let cook for about 2 minutes until they turn light brown.
5. With extreme CAUTION, using a slotted spoon, remove the plantains from the oil and place them on a cutting board. Cover with parchment paper.
6. Place the plantain pieces on one half of the parchment paper and fold the other half of the paper over them. Place a second cutting board, or another hard surface, on top of the covered plantains and press down. You can also use a tortilla press for this.
7. With a slotted spoon, place the now flat pieces of plantain back in the hot oil until they are a golden brown.
8. Remove the plantains and place them on a paper towel to cool off. They should be crisp at this point.
9. Sprinkle salt until satisfied.
10. Enjoy!

Platanos Maduros

Platanos Maduros are the sweet, soft, fried plantains that are served as a side dish, but also often with a desert.


4 ripe dark-skinned plantains
5 tablespoons vegetable oil

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes


1. Heat the vegetable oil over in a skillet or saucepan with medium heat.
2. Peel the plantain completely and cut them diagonally so that you are left with 1-inch wide pieces.
3. With extreme CAUTION carefully place the sliced plantains into the hot oil.
4. Fry until the plantains are golden brown. Flip often.
5. If you prefer sweeter, sprinkle with sugar before and after cooking.
6. Enjoy!

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