So let’s start with the fact that all the good stuff will kill you. But then, like Red Sonja said to Conan, “do you want to live forever?”. So you should limit your consumption of plantain. On top of that, the way I like it most is “fried”. And now, we know anything deep-fried is not good for you either. So I decided to explore the air-fried option. Air-frying works by circulating a little amount of oil around your food using hot air to do the frying. So it is much healthier – not sure whether it will taste as good though.
There are lots of recipes out there, and contrary to what I am always complaining about, I am dong exactly the same thing – “front-loading” this post with everything but the recipe – well, disclaimer, this is not primarily a recipe post – consider it an article about air-frying plantains.
So, I cut up the plantain, don’t make them too thick, otherwise they don’t cook through properly. I then put about 6 tablespoons of peanut oil in the container with the plantain (I would estimate I cut up about 6 to 8 ripe plantains). Shake the pot to get the oil to coat all the plantain pieces. You should consider a sprayer instead. I do have am olive oil sprayer that I use to coat cake pans, but I didn’t want to fry the plantain with Olive oil.
I then transferred a single layer of plantain pieces to the airfryer (I have a Ninja AirFryer AF101) on the metal grate that came with the unit. The problem is that after the airfrying is done, the plaintain pieces stuck to the metal grill. So I decided to use the flat plate that came with the unit instead of the grate. (pics below)
So, I ran one layer of plantains through the fryer at 330F for 15mins. Once I had gone through all the plantains. I mixed them all up and then put a double layer of them at a time back into the fryer and ran it at 315F for 10 mins.
I future, I would likely try the doubling the layer and running it through the fryer for 20 mins at 315F. mixing up all the runs, then running it through the fryer again at 315F for another 20mins.
The problem is that with the plate, only the top of the plantain pieces get browned, while I think with the grate, both sides would likely get browned in one run.
So I cut the plantains at 90 degrees (i.e., straight down). But traditionally, it is cut diagonally. I think that will give the pieces more surface area and allow them to stay properly on the grate. They might still stick to the grate, but because they would be larger, they should be easier to pry off the grate.
Ninja Air-Fryer AF101
Air-Fryer grates (had better luck with the plate on the right)
Fresh plantain from Ranchos (an Hispanic supermarket chain)
Oil Sprayers (the vegetable oil on the right is about $1.60 at WinCo supermarket)