I'm trying to make sweet fried plantains (maduros) but I'm not having much success. I've tried frying on low, medium, and high heat and with varying amounts of oil. The plantains never come out soft and sweet but dry (depending on cooking time) and starchy tasting. I suspect it is because the fruit is either not ripe or bad quality.

Compared to a ripe banana, how soft should the plantain be before peeling? Once peeled, how soft should the flesh be? Also, should it be sweet prior to frying? The pic below shows a fruit prior to preparation. Does this look ripe enough? I have also tried letting it ripen until the skin was almost completely black but at that point the fruit seems to have gotten bad.enter image description here

2 Answers 2


For fried or oven-roasted maduros you want the plantain to be a bit riper than the one you pictured. I usually wait until they are closer to the following:

Ripe Plantain

The flesh should be yielding and have a slightly sweet flavor, but not be completely mushy or soggy. It's ok if there are a few mushy spots. If your final product is starchy tasting, then they were not ripe enough. If you can't get riper plantains make sure to keep the slices thin enough (<1/2" or 1cm) so that the interior can get fully cooked before the exterior burns.

They should be fried in oil or lard that is around 350˚F (180˚C)

  • Thank you for the detailed instructions. I'll give that a shot and report how it goes. Nov 8, 2013 at 20:32

Funnily enough I saw Didgeridrew's reply above and thought, "Hey, that looks like a photo that I took ..." and sure enough, it's from my post on The Kitchn in 2009 about how to make plátanos maduros. :)

If you think yours are too starchy then you're not letting them ripen enough, and they don't have enough sugars in them. Try putting them in a paper bag with an apple to speed the ripening process, and when the skin is completely black and the flesh is a bit soft, slice them 1/2 inch thick, and fry in hot oil. Don't turn them too soon, because you want those nice caramelized edges.

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