Summer seems the best time for light dishes like plantain fried rice that go so well with Caribbean or Indian dishes on a balmy evening. The hearty sweetness of plantains that temper out the spicy tang of chilies and jerk spice all slow fried with rice. It can side with any meat or base a fragrant Indian or Caribbean stew.
As anyone can tell you, there’s a million different ways to serve up a fried rice; vegetarian, vegan, meat-loaded; the list is long. The one I did up here is vegan (mostly by happenstance) mainly because eggs don’t feature very heavily in my household. If that weren’t the case, a good measure of egg would be in this dish for sure.
As for making it with meat (pork fried rice, for instance), I say go for it! In fact, the fattier the meat (lamb or pork), the more flavourful the rice will end up. I get all giddy just talking about it. This would even carry it from side dish to self-contained meal; that’s a win again.
Plantains have proven to be so versatile; they can be a fried appetizer, blended into flatbreads and used as a thickener for stews. Plantain fried rice does raise some flags in that it is a heavy starch food, thus pairing it with rice seems excessive. Sometimes, my friends, you just need to indulge your sense of “Oh, what the hell” and have a go at it. Just promise yourself to walk a few extra miles the next day.
A note on spice level: I love spicy foods; the hotter the better. My daughter, on the other hand, isn’t that wild about it. A quick hack for that is to tame the spicy down with a touch of coconut milk just before serving it. If it were all for me, there would be more chilies added to it; don’t be shy on your part.
Plantain fried rice
- Frying pan or skillet
- 2 whole plantains diced
- 1 whole onion diced
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp ginger minced
- 3 whole chilies chopped fine
- 1 Tbsp rosemary minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp jerk spice
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 Tbsp peanut oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 4 cups cooked and chilled rice don't use freshly cooked rice; it'll stick like crazy.
- Heat up your frying pan, add the seeds, salt and pepper; let it start to fume up.
- Add the peanut oil, onions, garlic, ginger and chilies; saute until transluscent.
- Add the jerk spice and cumin, then the diced plantains; once it starts to break down some, add the thyme, rosemary and. Stir it in well.
- Add the rice and mix in until blended with the rest of the rest of the ingrdients. Add the lime juice and pull the heat down to simmer.
- Continue to stir evrey few minutes until the rice starts to get a crisp finish to it (about 15-20 minutes).
- Serve alongside your favorite entree and enjoy!