Whether you're an expert cook, or this is the first time you meet a plantain, we have a method for you to get done with this in no time!
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Peeling ripe plantains is almost as easy as peeling a banana, though you'll need a knife. Peeling an unripe (green) plantain is more complicated.
The way most Dominican home cooks peel unripe plantains, though, is a result of practice, and having mom criticizing their technique until they get it almost as good as "mami". Or maybe it's just me.
I give you here the expert technique, and the foolproof one, perfect if you're boiling the plantains, or making tostones.
Ripe (maduros) plantains
Peeling ripe plantains is almost as easy as peeling a banana. The peel comes of easily, so this requires very little in the way of expertise.
Unripe (verde) plantains
Peeling unripe plantains requires a bit more practice and experience. We show you here the way advance home cooks do it in the Dominican Republic, and my own easy method that you can use to make tostones, or mangú or any of the dozens of plantains recipes in our collection.
This easy method is also perfect for plantains that have a bit past their prime, especially when they've been kept refrigerated to keep them from ripening and the peel turns thinner and harder to remove.
How to Peel Plantains
- Cut off both ends of the plantain, about 3/4" (2 cm) from the tips.
- Score the plantain peel lengthwise with a paring knife, but without going into the plantain flesh itself.
- Score again about an inch from the first cut (use the "corners" on the plantain as a guide.
- Separate the peel from the flesh by pushing in from the cuts.
- Repeat until there's no more peel.
- Paring knife