There is an expression in the Dominican Republic that if you do not eat Plantain, you are not a True Dominicana. Plantain, as well as Yucca (also known as "Cassava"), are perhaps the most enjoyed foods from the Dominican Republic. There are many ways to prepare these foods, though the most common is fried or "frito". Ironelys Lugo is a True Dominicana. Her love of her culture and its food is very apparent in this story.
Ripe or green plantains *
Peel the plantain and slice lengthwise into 2-inch thin strips.
Fry in a generous amount of oil about 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove the plantain chips and let drain on paper towels.
Fried ripe plantains go well as a side dish for almost any meal.
* Ripe plantains are sweet and soft, and are brownish-black in colour. They resemble overripe bananas.
Green plantains can also be fried. These are called "Tostones". They are tasty , but with a less sweet flavour.
** Optional: sprinkle cheese-- feta, grated mozzarella, monterey jack or fontina -- on the chips, if you want to experience saltiness contrasting with the sweetness of the plantain.
Yucca Frita (Fried Cassava)
Yucca (Cassava) roots
In a large pot, cover the yucca with water.
Add salt and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook about 15-20 minutes or until tender.
Let the yucca cool down.
Cut the cooked yucca into 2-inch strips.
Fill a large frying pan with enough vegetable oil to cover strips, and heat to 350 degrees.
When the oil is hot, place the yucca strips into the heated oil carefully.
Fry them until golden brown on both sides (about 6-8 minutes).
Remove the yucca pieces and drain on paper towels.
Sprinkle with salt and serve.