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How to Make Plantain Tajadas

Tajadas Venezuela

Tajadas are Venezuela’s ode to ripe plantains. They are also beautifully simple to make. Which is why we are calling this how-to from one of our favorite Venezuelan cooks Liliana Hernández an Abuela 101 (even though she is not an abuela!).

Abuela 101s are how we pass on essential Latino cooking wisdom here at Familia Kitchen. They are cocina consejos your abuela would offer if you were in the kitchen together. It’s the stuff you gotta know to cook your way home.

Tajadas are a great first dish for young cooks, making this an Abuela 101 at its most esencial. Frying tajadas involves exactly two ingredients: ripe (yellow) plantains and vegetable oil. Don’t use green plantains—they won’t turn out sweet and soft. Use those unripe plantains to make tostones or Colombian patacones.)

In Venezuela, tajadas are an everyday side that goes with pretty much everything on the table: beef, chicken, pork, fish, beans. As Liliana explains, ”In Venezuela, we are like monkeys—because we love our plátanos and have them daily. We cannot live without them. And it is not only my family. It’s everyone. We eat tajadas with everything. We make a pasta with bolognese sauce—and eat them with tajadas. If you find yourself hungry in the middle of the afternoon, you grab a tajada and put a little melted cheese on top. There are millions of ways we eat tajadas.”

Tajadas are also a must-have player in the country’s beloved national dish: pabellón criollo. For the starving only, this heaping traditional dish includes shredded flank steak and a sky-high serving of Venezuelan-style white rice, black beans, and tajadas.

Pabellon criollo Venezuela
Tajadas are a defining element in Venezuela’s famous national dish: pabellón criollo.

If you seek a step-by-step of how to make pabellón criollo or want to see how Liliana preps plantains into tajadas, check out her YouTube channel Mi Show de Cocina’s episode on pabellón criollo.

For more of Liliana’s family-famous Venezuelan recipes, try her life-changing bienmesabe cake, handmade arepas, reina pepiada or carne mechada arepa fillings, and special occasion-ready asado negro—a brown sugar-blackened caramelized eye of round.

Ready to Fry a Sweet Batch of Traditional Tajadas?

How to Make Fried-Plantain Tajadas

3 from 3 votes
Recipe by Liliana Hernández Cuisine: Venezuelan
Servings

3 to 4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 2 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced

  • 1 to 2 cups 1 to 2 vegetable oil

Directions

  • Pour the vegetable oil into a large frying pan set to medium high. The oil should be deep enough that it will be at least an inch taller than the plantain pieces when you fry them. Heat the oil to 350°.
  • Slice a shallow cut lengthwise across the peel. Slide off the skin.
  • Slice the ripe plantains into chunks no less than 1/2-inch thick each, on the diagonal—so it has more edges to connect with the hot oil when fried.
  • Working in batches and being careful not to crowd, use tongs to put the plantains in the oil. Fry the first side for about 2 minutes until it turns golden brown. Turn each plantain over to brown the second side, about 1 minute.
  • When both sides are medium golden, remove and put the fried plantains on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Serve hot or at least warm. No salt, no spices, no dipping sauce needed. Your tajadas will be melty-caramelized inside, crunchy-golden outside: so sweet, so delicioso.

Notes

  • Be sure your plantains are ripe—that means mostly yellow with some black spots. Not mostly black with some yellow spots—that is too ripe and they will fall apart in the hot oil. Not green or barely yellow, that is too unripe: they will not sweeten nor caramelize.

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