May 12, 2015

Plantain Chips and Guacamole

I love plantain chips and guacamole SO MUCH that often times I'm not even interested in eating guacamole with plain old tortilla chips. I know, right? It's a seriously obsessive commitment to plantains. Behind our old apartment in Fremont there is this Mexican restaurant - El Camino. I'm sure I've talked about this place before. El Camino is notorious for providing deliciously spicy food, comedic service, a vibrant atmosphere, and margaritas that will knock you off your feet. Just ask my sister. We have this rule when we go to El Camino, one margarita is plenty. Two, and you'll wake up with a headache. Three, and you'll be puking for sure. I remember a few particular evenings when I learned this the hard way.

Besides the killer margaritas, El Camino serves the most amazing guacamole and plantain chips. It was the first place I'd ever tried them, and then again here, and then my mind was made up. Plantain chips are the perfect medium for guacamole. Before this post, I never thought of making my own plantain chips from scratch. But now that El Camino is not straight out our back door, and the fact that while pregnant I am refusing to step inside any establishment that serves my favorite margaritas, I had to cure this intense craving some how.

I went to the Asian Grocers a few weeks back. I saw a box of plantains in the produce section, and while Cinco de Mayo was right around the corner, I thought that it would be the perfect time to attempt making plantain chips at home. I bought the plantains, put them in the vegetable crisper, and then forgot about them for almost two weeks, which is what I do. Luckily, I was feeling extra ambitious last week, because those plantains were on their last legs.

I'm always a little hesitant when preparing anything that involves deep fat frying. I'm not afraid of the oil or anything, I am just not that enthusiastic with the whole process - using ssooooo much oil, smelling like grease, trying to figure out what to do what that 2 cups of oil after, cleaning the pan, the stove, my face, etc. So, I have to be in a particularly energetic and enthusiastic mood to deep fry. Some of you are thinking, why not bake in the oven? and if we are being completely honest, I always prefer foods that are fried over baked - doughnuts, french fries, popcorn shrimp. It must be my British roots.

To make these chips, you heat two cups of oil in a large frying pan until hot. You thinly slice the plantains using a mandoline. It's the only way. You will have to fiddle with the settings, and adjust the thickness similar to a tortilla chip. Unfortunately my mandoline doesn't have measurements, so I can't accurately describe the thickness I used, but it was similar to a tortilla chip. If the plantains are splitting and you just can't seem to get whole strips, increase the thickness. Once you have your plantains sliced, you can place a few at a time in the hot oil. If you crowd the pan, they will all stick together. Fry them until crispy. Once the plantains are cooked, you can prepare the guacamole using my easy method. Throw all of your ingredients into a large bowl, and smash  them together with a spoon. So easy, so delicious.

serves 3 - 4 as an appetizer

2 cups oil
2 large plantains
sea salt

2 avocados
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice from 2 limes

In a large frying pan, heat the oil on medium-high heat.

Peel the plantains. Cut them in half. Thinly slice lengthwise with a mandoline, to the thickness of potato chips. Place a few pieces of plantain, enough to not crowd the oil, in the frying pan, and fry until crispy and light brown, approximately 4 minutes. Place the cooked plantains onto a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Sprinkle with salt. Continue frying the rest of the plantains.

In a bowl, smash together the avocado, garlic and lime juice. Season with salt. Serve with the plantain chips.


  1. Jenn Mazo12 May, 2015

    I love plantain chips. You've inspired me to make them at home.

  2. I've never actually had plantain I must make an effort and find some. I think Id love it cooked like this with guacamole. You've inspired me to try something new thanks.

  3. Can I eat this for dinner? Every single day? Stunning photos!!!

  4. I've NEVER thought of using plantain chips instead of tortilla chips with guacamole, but this is such an amazing idea!!!
    Also the newspaper background in those photos is awesome, I love it!

  5. I can't think about anything other than how much I want plantain chips at the moment. We used to go to a place in Jamaica that served nachos made with plaintain chips and loads of fresh scotch bonnet chile and it was so utterly delicious - I still dream about it.

  6. Everything about this looks so delicious!!!

  7. Yum x 100! We ate plantain chips on holiday recently in St. Lucia and they are so so incredibly delicious. The combination of fried chip and creamy avocado = my perfect mouthful.

  8. it's so weird to see a food blog mention things you know about (because seattle's this big secret, right?). especially since i'm sitting at work, staring right at the back of el camino now.

  9. All my life growing up in a Jamaican household, and I never thought to eat plaintain chips with guacamole (something "ain't" right about that lol). O well, thanks for letting me in on this one...better late than never :)

    Happy Friday!

  10. this looks super delicious and tasty!!! yumm

  11. I love the idea of doing plantain chips with guac!

  12. oh my gosh YUM! I absolutely LOVE plaintain chips and avocados are my FAV! this combois something I need to try asap! ;-)

  13. Yummi, yummi! Must try this, definitely:-)