Plantains… They aren’t just green bananas.
Plantains are a member of the banana family, but they are super starchy and not as sweet as the yellow bananas we usually eat. When choosing plantains, look for dark, black peels, as they will be sweeter. Though they are not often consumed raw, cooking them brings out their flavor and makes them perfect in savory dishes.
I served these fried plantains along with a coconut-infused wild rice, and finished off the dish with lots of fresh cilantro. This makes an excellent main course for a vegetarian or vegan, and a great side dish for grilled chicken or steak.
Vegan sweet fried plantains with coconut wild rice recipe
For the coconut wild rice
- 2 cups organic wild rice, uncooked
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups organic coconut milk
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon vegan or dairy-free butter
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
For the plantains
- 2 large plantains (preferably with the black peels)
- 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- To a large pot over medium-high heat, add all the ingredients except for the cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover the pot with the lid.
- Simmer the rice (stirring occasionally) until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is soft and fluffy.
- In a deep frying pan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil.
- Slice the plantains into thick slices, about 1 inch.
- Fry the plantain slices, being careful to not overcrowd the pan. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until they are deep golden brown.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the plantains from the pan, and drain them on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Once all the plantains have been fried and drained, transfer them to the pot of cooked coconut rice, and gently toss to mix.
- Divide among plates, and garnish with lots of fresh cilantro. Best served warm.