Slicing into thin rounds on a mandoline and baking directly on a baking sheet is the key to making these golden, delicately crisp, baked plantain chips.
Three ingredients and less than 20 minutes in the oven are all you need to make these golden plantain chips. While this recipe is simple, a couple of thoughtful tricks ensure that these chips come out crisp and hard to resist.
Rather than slicing to a thickness of 1/8 inch (as is common), I found the chips have a much better texture when sliced at 1/16-inch thick. Rather than toothsome and crunchy, they come out delicately crisp, similar to a kettle chip. Additionally, rather than baking on parchment, this recipe opts to bake directly on a rimmed baking sheet until the chips self-release. In testing, I found parchment to lengthen the baking time, resulting in too-firm chips.
These chips are great as a snack during the day when you’re craving something crispy, are wonderful as an appetizer with guacamole or pico de gallo, and make every meal that much more delicious.
Choosing the Right Plantains
This recipe works best with firm, green plantains which are lower in sugar and moisture and higher in starch. The firmness makes them easier to cut and the high starch and low moisture and sugar content results in a chip that bakes and crisps evenly and quickly.
When shopping, look for plantains that are a vibrant green all over. Some brown spots are okay, but they shouldn’t be turning yellow.
Working With Plantains
The easiest way to peel plantains is to start by cutting off each end with a sharp knife. Then, score the peel of the plantain lengthwise, taking care to only cut through the peel and not into the flesh. Next, wiggle your thumb between the peel where it was scored to begin to separate the peel from the flesh. Continue until the whole plantain is peeled.
Best Type of Oil
Because green plantains are fairly neutral, I love using olive oil here for the extra bit of flavor. However, a neutral oil that fits your taste and dietary needs will also work!
For the Best Results, Use a Mandoline
If you have one, I recommend using a mandoline to slice the plantains as it’s the easiest way to cut them into even, 1/16-inch thick rounds. The more uniform the rounds, the more evenly they bake.
Making the Chips in the Air Fryer
Skipping the oven for the air fryer? No problem. Just note that the amount of chips you can make at once is dependent on the size of your air fryer. A 6-quart air fryer can hold up to 1 medium plantain.
To make the chips in an air fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F on the “air fry” setting if it requires preheating.
- Prepare the plantains as indicated in the recipe (steps 2-4).
- Lightly spray the basket with nonstick cooking spray.
- Transfer the plantain rounds to the basket. Because the rounds are thin and light, they will fly around the basket while air frying, meaning they do not need to be in a single layer. Overlapping is okay, however, try to avoid stacking them directly on top of one another.
- Return the basket to the air fryer and cook at 350°F for 6 minutes. Give the chips a good toss. Return the basket to the air fryer and continue to cook until the chips are golden to golden brown, dry, and firm to the touch, about 4 minutes more, tossing every minute or so.
While delicious with a simple sprinkling of salt, consider seasoning the chips with a blend of any of these spices after they bake:
- Flavored salts such as seasoning salt, garlic salt, or smoked sea salt
- Something with a kick, such as cayenne, chili powder, or ground chipotle
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Lime zest
Dip Recipes for Plantain Chips
I love these chips on their own, but nothing goes better with chips than dip. Consider these:
Preheat the oven:
Arrange the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Prepare the plantains:
Rinse the plantains and pat them dry. Trim the ends off each with a sharp knife. Use the knife to score the skin of the plantain lengthwise, taking care to not cut into the flesh. Shimmy your thumb between the skin where it is scored and the flesh of the plantain to separate the two and peel the plantains.
Cut the plantains:
Using a mandoline, carefully slice the plantains into 1/16-inch thick rounds. Alternatively, use a sharp knife to cut the plantain by hand into 1/16-inch thick rounds. If cutting by hand, take care to cut them as close to 1/16-inch thick and as evenly as possible. Thicker rounds will result in a more toothsome crunch rather than a delicate crisp.
Toss the plantains:
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Add the sliced plantain rounds to the oil and salt mixture and toss by hand to coat each round. Take care to separate and coat any plantain slices that may have stuck together.
Spread the plantains on rimmed baking sheets:
Arrange the coated plantain rounds in a single layer across two (unlined) rimmed baking sheets. It’s okay if the edges of the rounds are touching as they will shrink in the oven, but do not let them overlap.
Bake the plantain chips:
Arrange the chips in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Bake at 375°F for 7 minutes. Rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Bake for another 8 to 9 minutes until the plantain chips are golden to golden brown, dry and firm to the touch, and easily release from the pan. If any of the chips feel soft or are sticking to the pan, pop just those chips back into the oven until no longer soft and sticking, about 1 minute more.
Finish the plantain chips and serve:
Sprinkle the plantain chips with more salt, if desired, while still warm from the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Leftover plantain chips can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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