Thursday, February 2, 2012

Patacon Pisao

These are another great Hipano-American treat that is popular in the Caribbean as well as coastal areas along Central and South America. My mom grew up in Cartagena, Colombia where these were eaten pretty much on a daily basis. Of course I grew up eating these as well so to me they are another of those foods that remind me of childhood and of the wonderful food my mother makes. They are basically green plantains that are twice fried. Here is what you will need to make them:

Patacon Pisao (Smashed Green Plantain)

Green Plantains (the quantity is up to you - they will each yield about 10 to 12 pieces depending on their size)
2 Cups +/- Safflower (or any other oil with a high heating point).
Saran Wrap
Tortilla Press/ Firm cutting board (you will use this to press down on the plantains after the first fry)

Start by pealing and cutting your plantains into slices about 1/2 inch thick.

Place your oil in your favorite frying pan and heat on medium heat or just a little above (remember that the point is to cook the food not burn it - just like with the empanadas). When the oil is well heated start adding your plantain slices. Let them fry until they are just starting to get golden on all sides (about 5 minutes). Once this is done remove the plantains to a plate with paper towels to let the plantains drain any excess oil and let them cool for a little until you can handle them with your hands.

Once the plantains are cool enough to handle, place them at the center of a sheet of saran wrap on a hard flat surface (either a tortilla press if you have one or your counter). Press down on your plantain to flatten as much as possible either in your tortilla press or with a cutting board. I just want to note that if you want to be super efficient and not have to turn your oil off while you do this step you can start off by frying small batches of the plantains to start with. While the second batch is frying you can be pressing the first batch so that you can have them ready to fry once you finish frying the full amount of plantain slices you prepared.

Once you have pressed all you pieces, place them back in the oil in small batches and remove once they look golden throughout.

There are quite a few ways to enjoy these treats once they are done frying. I remember my mom used to sprinkle them with salt and then drizzle lime juice on them. You can also try them with a nice minced garlic oil and vinegar mixture (equal parts of all). I chose to keep it simple this time, so I just drizzled mine with a little salt and served them as part of my dinner. 

You can also eat them with a typical dip we make in Colombia called Hogao. This is dip is salsa's better and more beautiful sister as it is not just tomato and onions but adds in cumin for a more flavorful experience. Here is a recipe I found for it in the Recetas de Comida Colombiana Blog, which I am translating for you:

1 Pound Ripe plum tomatoes (pealed and finely diced or grated)
1/2 Pound Yellow/White onions (finely diced)
4 Green onions (finely diced)
2 Large Cloves of Garlic (minced)
Salt, Cumin and Pepper (to taste)

In a pan heat 3 TBSP of oil. once heated add in the onions and garlic and cook until the onions become translucent.

Add in the tomatoes allowing it to incorporate with the onions and garlic. Stir slowly with a wooden spoon and add in the salt, pepper and cumin to taste.

Continue stirring until a fine paste starts to form. Take off the heat and allow it to rest so you can use it with your Patacon Pisao. Enjoy.


  1. Oh, wow, these look AMAZING. Your posts always make me hungry!

    1. :) Thank you. Your posts always make me drool because they always sound so delicious. Your pictures are so vivid I wish I could just grab what you have made right out of the screen.