Little Spiders (Fried Shredded Plantains)
These are known as Arañitas in Puerto Rican cuisine, which translates to "little spiders". This is a delicious fried snack that my kids love. I like to serve them with a mayonnaise and ketchup dip. Plantains offer a nice break from traditional fried potatoes.
Plantains are showing up in more and more supermarkets. There are two types of plantains - green plantains resemble a large green banana, with a thick skin, and are a starchy vegetable rather than a fruit. Yellow and black plantains are the sweet varieties with the more black on the skin, the sweeter the plantain.
green plantains, medium
To peel the plantains start bu slicing off both ends. Cut a lengthwise slit through the plantain, cutting only as deep as the peel. Then insert the edge of the knife closest to the handle into the slit and lift way the peel. The peel may come off in sections. Use your knife to scrape away any remnants of peel from the plantain.
Coarsely grate the plantains using the grater attachment on your food processor or a hand grater.
Place the grated plantain in a bowl of salted water and soak for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mince the garlic cloves.
Drain the grated plantain and dry with paper towels.
Mix the grated plantain with the garlic and add salt & pepper to taste. You can omit the salt and/or sprinkle it on after they are cooked.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the grated plantains by scooping spoonfuls into the fryer.
Fry the plantains for about 5 minutes until golden and drain on paper towels.
To make the optional dipping sauce: mix the ketchup & mayonnaise together and serve with the little spiders.