Plantain Chips & Cassava Chips...Better than Potato Chips!
Green Plantain at vegetable shop in Ladyville, Belize.
let's start off today with Plantain Chips locally known as "ghetto pringles". First off Plantain is the best thing ever grown...yes the Best. It's family to the banana but a bit more firm & starchy. In Belize we eat it with Rice & Beans (our national dish), Split Peas & rice, Boil Up, and much much more. It can be cut thick and fried just so it's brown, it can be cut in quarters and baked, and it can be boiled. All means of cooking usually end up with a sweet caramelly slice of foodie heaven.
As with our Breadfruit friend it is said that Plantains originated from South-east Asia (phillipines, malaysia,...etc). It is also used widely in those areas as well as Africa, Central America and South America. That's a good chunk of the world if you ask me...that many countries can't be wrong, meaning it must be good! And it's also very healthy for you and best part even when fried in Coconut oil Plantains somehow maintain it's low fat level and keeps it's carbs level so don't feel guilty about having that 4th slice of plantain...hehehe. Now on to the recipe...
* Would also like to say that while researching the healthy benefits and background of the plantain i stumbled across some lies...Wikipedia has on there that there is no distinction between a Banana and a Plantain, that it is called plantain depending on the way it is cooked (huh?? lol)...this,if you've cooked it before and live in any of the countries that actually eat it on a daily basis,you will know is clearly a lie. i want to see you try to do to banana what you normally would with plantain...it will be nice but just not the same.
* Plantain Chips (yellow) & Cassava Chips (white). Can be found in most grocery stores in the entire country and usually sell for about $1.00 USD/ bag & of course comes with ketchup.
- 4 large GREEN plantains
- 1 cup Coconut/Vegetable Oil
- Sweet Ketchup (optional)
- Peel your plantains. Keep one Plantain out and place the rest in a container of Salt Water.
- in a pot or skillet with high sides heat your oil.
- With a really sharp knife or potato Peeler or if you have a fancy slicer slice the plantain thin thin thin (like normal potatoe chips) and place in salt water. Do this to the rest until your container of water is full of plantain slices.
- By this time your oil is hot so you are ready to fry some chips...DO NOT JUST THROW THEM IN THERE STRAIGHT OUT THE WATER!! You'll have yourself a nice little grease fire. With a clean towel you can dry the slices a handful at a time. When they are nice and dry then put them in the hot oil. Remember Oil & Water don't mix...they bubble over.
- When chips are golden brown take it out the oil and place in a bowl with newspaper or paper towel, something that'll soak up the oil. sprinkle with salt and eat, but careful you burn your tongue and u can't taste the rest :P
*Cassava at the Queen Square Market in Belize city, Belize.
Cassava Chips also inherited the "ghetto Pringles" name because well, it's a local chip. Cassava is one of the most common staple foods around especially in Central & South America and the Caribbean. And again available in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. It's relatively easy to grow anywhere, BUT be careful if cassava is not prepared correctly it can kill you. That's right eating the raw leaves and root of the cassava (which is the part u normally eat) can actually kill you a few hours after ingestion. When raw the casava has 2 enzymes that produces up 40 grams of Cyanide...yes that's enough to kill a cow. Some cassava can be simply cooked to remove the cyanide but other types we have to soak for up to 1 day before using it, this one is said to be the one that cassava flour is made from and is bitter in taste. But worry not all you need is a lil injection and you'll be fine.
Other than the scary thought of dying if you eat cassava raw, it's packed with all types of Vitamins, 'eins, 'ars, carbs and 'iums. (too many to list just using the end of the names... :) ) Cassava can be boiled, made into flour, fried, made anyway like a potato, and can also make punch. So, now that I've scared you let's eat this thing. :)
- 4 Cassava
- 1 cup Vegetable Oil
- Sweet Ketchup (optional)
- With a potatoe peeler peel your cassava. The day before you cook your chips, let's be on the safe side and soak the Cassava for 24 hours in water changing it a couple times for the day.
- When your 24 hours have passed slice your cassava length way with either a slicer, potatoe peeper, or really sharp knife. You'll want them Thin as well.
- Heat your Vegetable oil up and fry them doing the same as you did with the plantain chips. Dry them before you put into the hot oil.
- When they come out leave in a bowl with either newspaper or paper towel to dry up the extra oil. sprinkle with salt n enjoy!
Now, you might want to try the Plantain chips and Cassava chips belizean style...that is with sweet ketchup. If you are a Belizean or know a Belizean...observe them and you will notice that majority of us like Ketchup on EVERYTHING! Now go enjoy your plantain chips and Cassava Chips. My friends and family abroad will all be upset that i keep teasing them as Plantain chips & Cassava chips are a weakness for most Belizeans. Hehe Enjoy guys!!