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! After all, Dominicans are definitely plantain experts.
By- Last reviewed . Published Sep 13, 2013
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.
Don't miss our complete guide to plantains with over 30 recipes and top tips.
How to peel a plantain
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.
How to Peel Plantains [+ Video]
1. Cut tips
- Cut off both ends of the plantain, about ¾" (2 cm) from the tips.
2. Score peel
- 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
We have dozens of recipes for plantains, I suggest you start with these.
Plantain vs banana
Plantains are from the genus musa, the same family as bananas, however, plantains are starchier than bananas, and even ripe plantains don't taste good if eaten raw.
Peeling a ripe plantain is almost as easy as peeling a ripe banana, and peeling an unripe plantain is as hard as peeling an unripe banana.
There is a big difference between ripe plantain peels and green plantain peels. The former is close to a ripe banana peel, and can be removed relatively easily. Green plantain peels, on the other hand, are much more firmly attached.
Also bear in mind that when peeling a plantain, this may stain your hands, especially with plantains that are freshly cut.
To avoid getting stains on your hands, you may want to wear gloves, although for environmental reasons, I prefer to peel very green plantains under running water, or a large pot full of water. You may want to wear an apron if you are wearing your "good clothes".
Peeling yellow plantains
Peeling ripe (maduro) plantains is almost as easy as peeling a banana. The peel comes off easily, so this requires very little in the way of expertise.
Peeling green plantains
Peeling unripe (green) plantains requires a bit more practice and experience. We show you here the way advanced home cooks do it in the Dominican Republic, and my own method on how to peel green plantains easily, which you can use to make tostones, or mangú, or any of the dozens of plantain recipes in our collection.
This easy method is also perfect for plantains that are 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.
Do you have any tricks and tips you'd like to share, please leave it in the comments!