You probably know that fried plantains are tasty, correct? Of course, one of the delicious and fast foods that appeal to many Nigerians is fried plantain.
Nigerian fried plantains (dodo) are made from plantains that are deep-fried in vegetable or palm oil. When prepared and fried the right way, fried plantain is one savory dish. It can be served as an appetizer or side dish. Some even take it as a full meal.
As good as that may sound, many people worry about the health effects of fried plantains, which often give rise to the question—is it right to fry ripe plantain? If this sounds like you, you’re certainly not alone; many are curious to know about this. Of course, it is essential to be watchful of the foods we eat.
So, for your needs, this article is going to succinctly address the question of whether it is good to fry ripe plantain or not. We’ll also go further to discuss other vital information about fried plantain, which includes the health benefits of fried plantain and recipes.
If you’re ready, let’s navigate together then!
Is it Good to Fry Ripe Plantain?
Frying ripe plantain is not an unhealthy culinary act. It is good to fry ripe plantain, and it is quite tasty and satisfying, as you already know. However, the dangers associated with frying ripe plantains are hinged on the oil used.
When fried with unhealthy oil, fried plantains become harmful to consume. So, you want to ensure you use the right oils when frying plantains. Also, if you do add spices, you should be mindful of the ones to use.
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Can you Fry Bananas Instead of Plantains?
Plantains and bananas can be fried. However, the Nigerian fried plantain delicacy directly points to the use of plantains and not bananas. Many often confuse plantain with bananas. But both fruits are different.
We aren’t going to blindside you with all the intricacies of plantain and bananas; instead, we’ll just point to the obvious differences between the two.
A plantain looks like a banana but lengthier and larger. Ripe bananas can be consumed raw. But because of more starch found in plantain, it is usually cooked before eaten.
If you want to learn more about plantain and banana, this resource might be helpful.
The Best Way to Prepare Nigerian Fried Plantain
There are some basic guidelines to consider when preparing this staple food.
First, ensure the plantains are ripe and firm. If it’s unripe, you’ll get plantain chips (another plantain recipe) as the end result. On the other hand, when ripe but soft, the plantain will soak and absorb your oil when frying.
Another thing is not to add too much salt. A pinch of salt, for example, goes a long way. So just add salt to taste.
With those points addressed, follow the below recipe to make healthy and perfect fried plantain.
- Ripe Plantain
- Vegetable oil (best option) or use Palm oil as an alternative.
Preparation and Frying Instructions:
- Wash the plantain and cut off both ends.
- Peel and then slice the plantain on the diagonal. You can make the cut as thick or thin as you wish. But don’t make it too thick.
- If you make the cut on a cutting board, transfer the slices into a bowl.
- Add salt and toss the content. This helps to distribute the salt evenly.
- Pour sufficient vegetable or palm oil in a frying pan. The goal is to deep fry, meaning frying the slices in enough oil to float them. Or else, the slices may not cook properly.
- Fry in batches, leaving enough space between the slices. Adding too many at once will make it difficult for the plantain to fry evenly. To avoid splattering, carefully add the plantains into the oil.
- Stir at intervals or turn the plantain until well fried.
- When the slices turn golden brown, remove the slices and put them into a sieve.
- Leave the fried plantain in the sieve for some minutes for the oil to get drained. Afterward, transfer the slices to a plate.
- Fry the rest of the plantains in batches using the same procedures.
As you can see, making Nigerian fried plantains is very easy and straightforward. When you add the right amount of salt, use enough oil, and don’t let the slices get burnt when frying, your plantain will be crisp, sweet, and delicious.
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What Can You Eat with Fried Plantain?
Fried plantain goes well with some other delicious meals. For example, fried plantain can be served as a side dish to stewed beans.
The common combination is fried plantain with White rice, Jollof rice, and Fried rice.
The fried meal can also be eaten as a standalone dish or “washed down” with the help of a chilled soft drink. And we’ve seen some who love fried plantain with Akamu or Custard meal.
Health Benefits of Fried Plantain
Aside from being tasty, fried plantain is also nutritious. 148g of ripe plantain (about one cup) contains 1.9g protein, 3.4g fiber, 22.2g sugar, 0.6g fat, 47.2g carbs, and 181 calories. Let’s take a detailed look at these nutrients.
Protein is a macronutrient required by the body in large amounts for making cells and tissues. Infants, children, adolescents, and adults all need this nutrient for many body functions.
The fiber content in plantain is also beneficial. Studies show that fiber is useful for weight loss, can help with improved digestion, and has many other health benefits.
Fat and Carbohydrates
These are the two other macronutrients the body needs. Fat is important as it enables your body to absorb vitamins. It is also a source of energy and can help protect the brain.
On the one hand, carbohydrates are the main source of energy to the body and a macronutrient that is needed for other body processes. Though carbs often get a bad rap as far as nutrition is concerned, it is essential and beneficial when taken in the right proportions.
Ripe plantain also contains a decent amount of calories. A calorie is a measure of the energy content of any food. It is calculated from the macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fat found in that food item. In the case of 148g of ripe plantain, there are 181 calories.
Individual calorie needs vary based on several factors. Experts recommend between 1000 to 2800 calories per day for humans, depending on age, sex, and physical activity level.
Considering all these, the carbohydrate, fat, and protein content found in plantains makes it nutritious and healthy.
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Fried plantain is one savory food that is easy and quick to make. The delicacy also contains essential nutrients that your body needs for essential activities. The love for this staple food did not come as a surprise. It is tasty, easy to make, can be served alone, or alongside another dish as a full meal.
When paired with suitable Nigerian sauces or dishes, fried plantain becomes more delicious and nutritious.
Whether you are looking for an easy to prepare side dish or something that can be taken as a refreshment, Nigerian fried plantain is a unique delicacy.