The next step down the Ecuador green plantain trail is: patacones.
Patacones are kind of like plantain pancakes. By this I mean flattened chunks of fried plantain. They are absolutely delicious. They are best enjoyed with a nice cup of coffee. At the same time. Yep, take a bite of patacone, and before you chew it take a sip of coffee. Enjoy together.
I know that might sound strange, but it’s really very good.
Patacones are very similar to chifles. Both have the same 3 ingredients. Yes, that’s right, there are only 3 ingredients: green plantains, oil, salt.
First step, wash the plantain. Then peel it. This time, instead of slicing the plantain as thinly as you can, cut it into chunks.
Fry these chunks in hot oil. But, remove them before they’re completely cooked.
When they’re still warm, grab a glass or a coffee mug, and flatten them into pancake shapes. Be gentle, and turn the glass a bit as you flatten them. (If you just smash them directly down, they’ll break.)
Return them to the oil and fry again. Remove them when they’re beautifully golden yellow, drain on paper towels and add salt.
You’re done. You’ve just made patacones.
You know living here in Ecuador is a bit dangerous. Everything is fried. Seriously, it’s almost impossible to go a whole day without eating something fried. But, hey, at least everything is natural and there are no preservatives or chemicals. It’s just good, fresh, food plunged in very hot fat.
Which is better, patacones or chifles? Well, for me, it depends…on the day, my mood, how hungry I am. But, with my late morning coffee, nothing goes better than patacones.
Do I really need to write it down for you? It’s so easy, and there are no “real” proportions. You can do it. You don’t need a written recipe.