Growing up in a Puerto Rican household I became very familiar with the plantain and I LOVE THEM! You can eat them like 20 different ways, fried, boiled, baked, covered in cheese….the possibilities really are endless. I remember when I was about 15 years old, my parents sent me ahead of them to PR, to live with my Abuela (Grandmother). My Abuela made great use of me and had me peeling plantains, yucca and potatoes almost everyday. It wasn’t easy but I am grateful because now I can peel a plantain with my hands tied behind my back……well not really, but you know what I mean.
Do you know how to peel a plantain? Do you know what a plantain is? Plantains look like a big mutated banana, but unlike a banana you do not eat these raw. Plantains do become sweeter and ripen turning the skin yellow and black. The skin also becomes softer and thinner when ripe. Depending on what dish you want to prepare you will need the plantain either ripe or green.
Now a ripe plantain is much easier to peel then a green one, but neither peel like a regular banana. Here I am going to show you how to peel a green plantain. The same principles apply for a ripe one but the skin comes off a lot easier and doesn’t really need “prying”.
First you want to cut the ends of your plantain.
Using a short knife like this one
Score the skin of the plantain, trying not to cut into the plantain itself. Do this along the “seam” of the plantain.
Do it again on the inside of the plantain and on the sides. Scoring a total of 4 times.
Then put the blade of the knife into one the “slices” and pry the skin up, like so. Try your best not to cut the plantain itself.
Once you have pried an entire section of the peel off , you can pry the rest of the skin by lifting it and running your fingers under the skin.
The skin will come off in 4 whole pieces. Be patient your first time and try not to use your nails because it can get nasty and it can hurt you under your nail. Trust me I made this mistake when I was a rookie. If you have trouble prying it with your fingers, just use the knife again.
Ta-Da you have a peeled plantain.
This will come in handy in the future.