Patecones, (Plantain Fritters)

Pushing through the isthmus of Central America I made a somewhat vain attempt to out run the rainy but in southern Costa Rica and Panama the race was lost. During the day I battled against energy sapping humidity and from the late afternoons it rained biblically. Under the porches of local Churches, behind a fire station, or in the cab of a stranded truck I would bed down wherever I could find a dry, safe spot.


Finding myself in a run down concrete stable on my second night in Panama my lack of forward planning left me with no food and my unsatisfied hunger would have to be patient until morning. Ignoring the noisy complaints from the engine room and the deafening noise of the rain on the tin roof above, I was interrupted by a local coming out of the rain. Clad in nothing more than a very fetching pair of wellies and red jogging shorts, in his hands was a plate if fried fish and a stack of warm, salty patecones.

Made from the abundant plantains that hang in huge bunches from the plants that line the road patecones.are great as a side dish or as a healthy energy packed snack.

1. Peel your plantains and cut them into inch long pieces

2. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. When hot add the plantain chunks and cook on all sides until golden brown. 5-10 minutes

3. Now remove all the chunks and leave to cool for a few minutes until warm to touch. Stand each plantain chunk on its end and with a heavy mug press down to flatten with the chunks into thick discs. You might need to prize them from the mug with a knife.

4. Now heat a little more oil and place e all the disks back in the pan for a further five minute, turning and seasoning with a little salt and black pepper.

5. Remove the pan and leave to cool a little on some kitchen paper and serve warm, perhaps with a little sweet chili salsa to dip into.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 at 20:41 and is filed under Colombian Recipes, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. I cycled the Camino De Santiago earlier this year and know exactly what that kind of rain is like! We had no-stop driving rain from morning till night. Needless to say I was very wet and cold by the time we arrived at our destination, I’ve never seen rain like it!
    I do love plantains though, I’m lucky in that I can get them easily from leicester market, I once made plantain bread using them instead of bananas in a banana bread recipe, It came out pretty good.
    I love the site and can’t wait for the book.

  2. The Hungry Cyclist

    Great to hear from you Sam and glad to have a fellow Plantain lover onboard. The plantain bread sounds superb! Any chance of the cake recipe Tooting market here in London is buzzing with plantain and I would love to try out the cake.
    Stay dry

  3. I used my standard banana bread recipe (I make a lot of this stuff!) I simply replaced the bananas with leftover cooked plantains from a barbecue we had, I’ve never tried this with raw plantain although you probably could as they will cook in the oven anyway.
    Here’s the recipe:
    100g butter
    125g sugar
    2 eggs
    3 mashed bananas
    225g Self raising flour
    Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs, followed by the bananas then the flour. Pour into a 1lb loaf tin and bake at gas 4 for about an hour.
    I like to add lemon zest and dried fruit to mine, dried apricots are good. You can add whatever you like really, choc chips, nuts, you name it!
    I hope this helps,

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