Dodo (Fried Plantains)
Fried, grilled, boiled, dehydrated and pulverized, sweet or savory, plantains are a staple of Nigerian cuisine. Dodo, as it is called in Yoruba, refers to fried sweet plantains. For the plantains to caramelize properly, use ripe plantains (the skin should be deep yellow and speckled with large black dots). If you can find only green plantains, you can seal them in a paper bag and let them ripen for 2 to 3 days. Cooking the plantains in hot oil brings out their caramelized sweetness, and a quick toss with pickled onions adds an acidic bite. Enjoy these sweet, tangy morsels on their own, or serve this dish alongside jollof, plain steamed rice, frejon or plain cooked beans.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4medium ripe, deep-yellow plantains (about 2 pounds)
- 1small red onion, peeled and halved
- Canola or other neutral oil, for frying (about 3 cups)
- 1lime, zest removed in strips and julienned, plus 1 tablespoon juice
- 1teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- Kosher salt
Step 1Cut off the tips of each plantain. Use a sharp knife to create a slit in the skin along the length of each plantain, carefully making sure not to cut into the flesh. Remove and discard the skin by peeling it apart. Slice each plantain in half lengthwise, then cut into 1-inch pieces.
Step 2Thinly slice one onion half, then transfer the slices to a medium bowl. Quarter the remaining onion half lengthwise, and pull the layers apart.
Step 3In a large, deep skillet or sauté pan, pour 1/2 inch oil and heat over medium. When hot, add the larger onion pieces and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the cooked onion.
Step 4Working in batches to avoid crowding, fry the plantains, stirring halfway through, until browned and caramelized at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
Step 5While the plantains are frying, toss the sliced onion with the lime juice, red-pepper flakes and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Let marinate, at least 10 minutes.
Step 6Toss the fried plantains in the bowl with the pickled onion mixture while still warm. Add the lime zest and season to taste with salt. Serve immediately.