I absolutely love plantains whether served ripe or green. Growing up in the Caribbean, plantains played an integral role in my diet and still does. In my household, plantains are mostly served for breakfast or as a side-dish. A little back story on how this recipe came about: during a regular date-night with my husband we tried shrimp Tostones as an appetizer, and we loved it. The next day I was extremely excited to add my own twist to what we ate. In true Caribbean fashion, I could not wait to put a jerk twist to this recipe. This is the ultimate appetizer that brings you back to the Caribbean with such beautiful, vibrant colors and tropical flavors.
Tostones are crispy, twice-fried plantains that make a staple dish in most Latin American countries. The name Tostones comes from the word tostón which was a name given to the Spanish currency used during the colonial days. Although the origin is not very clear; it is believed to have originated in Puerto Rico. Tostones are fried until golden brown, then flattened, and fried again. You can enjoy them alone with a sprinkle of salt or add any topping of your choice. I thought a mango salsa would be a fantastic addition to this appetizer. The salsa paired with shrimp will stun your taste buds. Every bite is savory, delectable, and bursting with flavor! Preparation is 20 minutes, so you will enjoy it in no time. The contrasting combination of the ingredients in this recipe fills the appetizer with an extraordinary, exotic taste especially when paired with seafood. Prepare this dish for your friends and be dumbfounded at how quickly it disappears from the table. Remember to share this delicious recipe with your friends and family members!
The dish is prepared very quickly, and its taste is truly royal. Here are some helpful tips:
- Shrimp is very delicate, so do not overcook it. You want to have a juicy succulent jerk shrimp. Just when it turns a little pink on one side flip it, repeat then remove from the pan.
- It is of paramount importance that you dip the flattened plantains into the salt water as it gets the Tostones nice and crispy.
- Most definitely, you can utilize your own jerk seasoning if you prefer it over the store-bought versions. The store-bought ones are usually salty, so keep that in mind when you season your shrimp.
- There are so many different variations of salsa. I opted out of the jalapenos since the jerk is spicy. Instead of adding the cilantro directly into the salsa I used it as a garnish, but it can be added directly to the salsa as well. Nothing will go to waste; if you have any leftover salsa, you can enjoy it with chips or even serve it with salad. Store in refrigerator for up to four days.
Use any kitchen equipment such as the bottom of a pot or skillet–basically, anything that has a wide and flat surface that you can use to press down. If you have a tostonera (Tostones press) even better. It’s important to oil the bottom of the pot or skillet to ensure that the flattened plantains do not stick. I found that it’s a lot easier to remove plantain from the bottom of my pot surface using a rubber spatula.
Frying & Flattening
- Heat a skillet or pot with oil over high-medium heat.
- Deep fry plantains until golden brown.
- Immediately remove from the pan and place on a paper towel.
- Spread a small amount of cooking oil on the flat bottom of a skillet or pot then press down firmly on one plantain until evenly flattened. Repeat for remaining plantains.
- Dip the flattened plantain in salt water, then deep fry again on high heat for 3 minutes.
- Remove from oil, place on a paper towel, then sprinkle with a small amount of salt. Repeat steps 4-6 for remaining plantains.
Building your Tostones
- Place Tostones onto a platter, add salsa mixture, shrimp, a bit more salsa, then garnish with cilantro. Optional: you can also squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the assembled dish.
- Serve warm! Bon Appetit!