Mosa (Plantain Fritters)
The best qualities of very ripe plantains are revealed under high heat — their sugars caramelize, making each bite sweet and creating contrasting crisp and tender textures. In these fritters, mashed ripe plantains, from fruit with all-black peels, are folded into an aromatic batter with cornmeal for a thrilling crunch and sour cream for a pillowy tenderness. A great snack or addition to any meal, they’re also delicious on their own, but can be served with a garlicky fry sauce for dipping if you’d like.
- Serves: 40 persons
- 1cup yellow stone-ground cornmeal
- ⅓cup all-purpose flour
- 1teaspoon baking powder
- ¼teaspoon baking soda
- 1teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- 1pound very ripe plantains with black peel (about 2 medium)
- ½cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1teaspoon finely grated garlic
- 1tablespoon finely grated scrubbed fresh ginger
- 1Scotch bonnet pepper, minced with seeds, or 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- ⅓cup sour cream
- Neutral oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed, for frying (about 4 cups)
- Fry sauce, for dipping
Step 1In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Step 2Cut off the ends of each plantain. Use a sharp knife to slice the peel along the length of each plantain without cutting into the flesh. Remove peels and discard. Slice plantains crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, pound or pulse the plantains into a coarse purée. Avoid making the purée too smooth, especially if using a food processor.
Step 3Set aside 1/4 cup scallions for garnish. Stir or pulse the remaining 1/4 cup scallions, the garlic, ginger and Scotch bonnet pepper into the purée in the mortar or processor. Add the purée to the cornmeal mixture, and stir until the batter is just combined and resembles a shaggy dough. Fold in the sour cream.
Step 4Line a sheet pan with paper towels or set a wire rack in the pan. Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a medium saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high to 325 degrees. If you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, test the oil temperature by lowering a pea-size drop of batter into the oil. Bubbles should form around the batter, and the drop should float to the surface.
Step 5Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, use a small dessert spoon to drop heaping teaspoon-size portions of the batter into the hot oil and fry, turning frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. The batter should not darken too quickly or take too long to cook through, so maintain the oil temperature by raising or lowering the heat as needed. Transfer the mosas to the paper towels or rack using a slotted spoon or tongs. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Step 6Serve warm, garnished with the remaining scallions, with fry sauce alongside.