Transport yourself to a tropical paradise. Diced juicy mangoes are tossed with chopped bell pepper, red onion, and fiery slices of jalapeño, which mingle with cool cubes of cucumber and creamy avocado. Topped with freshly-squeezed lime juice and handfuls of fragrant cilantro, this simple, sweet, and spicy blend is the perfect topping for the hot and crunchy plantain bites known as tostones. Tender, golden, and delicious, tostones are a popular dish traditionally served throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and while typically served as a side with dinner, they also make an ideal appetizer for parties! Savory, salty, and topped with the fresh spicy mango salsa, this addictive treat will be the hit of your next fiesta!

Tostones With Spicy Mango Salsa [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Ingredients

For the Salsa:

  • 2 cups mangoes (about 2 to 3 mangoes), peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
  • Juice from 1 lime, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

For the Tostones:

  • 4 green plantains
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
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Preparation

To Make the Salsa:

  1. Combine all the salsa ingredients in a bowl, toss until evenly mixed, and let sit for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the tostones. Stir, taste for lime and salt, and add more as needed.

To Make the Tostones:

  1. First, cover a plate or cutting board with a few layers of paper towels to drain the plantains after frying. Peel the plantains by making a slit through the skin and peeling it off. Slice the plantains into thick 1-inch rounds. Place a heavy skillet over medium heat, and pour vegetable oil in the pan until it is about 1/4-inch deep. Once the oil is hot, test it by dropping in a small piece of plantain: if it bubbles, then the oil is ready.
  2. Place a few plantain slices flat-side-down in the oil, leaving space and not crowding the pan too much. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the plantains over so the other flat side is in the oil. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown as well. Remove the slices from the pan and place on the paper towel-lined cutting board. Repeat until all the plantains are cooked.
  3. Now we are going to flatten the plantain slices. Place a paper towel on a cutting board, then put one plantain slice on it, flat side down. Place another paper towel over the plantain, then take a heavy item like a large can of vegetables and press it firmly down on top of the plantain, flattening it. You can also do this with the palm of your hand. Once the plantains have been flattened, return them to the oil in batches and fry each side for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Remove from the pan and place on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle generous pinches of salt on both sides of the plantains, serve hot, and enjoy!
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