Fat Free (or low fat) Microwaved Plantain Chips
May 5, 2012 9 Comments
I have an interesting relationship with my microwave. Perhaps you’d call it an unwanted dependence? For example, every morning I use it to quickly cook my oatmeal. When I’m on the ball and actually bring my lunch to work I use it to reheat my leftovers. Even in the evening I find myself using it to heat any number of foods, drinks, or dishes. However, I wish that I didn’t rely on it so much. It just doesn’t feel right to be “nuking” so much of the food I eat. I know…I know…it’s silly to have any concern as microwaves have been proven to be completely safe so I really shouldn’t worry about it. Plus, ever since hearing my two-year-old niece say “mic-or-ave” I’ve felt a bit more affectionate towards it. Seriously, I’ve listened to this recording of her dozens of times and still laugh. Every. Single. Time.
So when I recently learned that you can actually make crispy potato chips by slicing a raw potato and putting it in the microwave for a few minutes, I figured I’d give it a try. However, I wanted to try it with plantains, which happen to be my biggest chip obsession at the moment. I figured that if it works with potatoes, it’s likely to work similarly with plantains, right?
And besides popping plantains in the microwave for 5 minutes can’t possibly be worse for me than the deep fried ones I am buying at the store nearly every day. So, yes, Mr. Mic-or-ave, you win this time in the “lesser of two evils” battle.
As you can see, I used my mandoline to get super thin and even slices, which is an important step in the process of making these. If you don’t have a mandoline, try to cut them as thin and evenly as possible.
I brushed each slice with a bit of olive oil and then sprinkled salt on top. You can omit one or both of these steps, but I actually think that the slightly dry plantain does well with a bit of both. Again, I have to remind myself that the bit of oil and salt I put on them is far less than what I’m consuming from the bags I buy at the store.
You want to place the slices in a single layer on a paper towel lined plate. Then brush each slice with oil, sprinkle with salt, and place them in the microwave on full power for 3 minutes. As the end of the 3 minutes approaches you’ll start to notice your kitchen smelling like sweet plantains and when the time is up, pull them out of the microwave, turn over each slice, and then place them in for another 3 minutes on half power. At this point you’ll have deliciously, crispy plantain chips! That’s all there is to it!
While I was experimenting with this, I purchased a bag of plantain chips at Whole Foods so that I could
eat them all see how the two compare and the best comparison that I can make is that my homemade version are like eating Baked Lays, while the store-bought are like eating regular Lays. The microwaved version tastes decidedly healthier, but they still satisfy the need for a delicious, crunchy snack. The chip I’m holding is my homemade version, which is also the one on the left in the photo below. You can see the comparison to the deep fried version on the right. Not too shabby!
- 1 (or more) plantains (the riper the plantain, the sweeter the chip)
- olive oil (optional)
- salt (optional)
Slice Plantain: Cut open your plantain by running a sharp knife along the long side of it. Try to cut only as deep as the peel. Pull the plantain out of it’s peel and then cut it into very thin and even slices.
Microwave: Place them in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook in the microwave on high power for 3 minutes. Pull the plate out of the microwave and turn over each slice before putting them back in the microwave for another 3 minutes on half power.