How do I peel a plátano?
Once you have your plátano, you need to peel it open. Riper plátanos shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
Sadly, you can’t just peel a green plantain as you would a banana. It takes a little more work.
Chop the ends off the plantain. Score the length of the plantain skin with a knife, along the ridges, just enough to cut through the skin. Don’t cut too far in as to slice the fruit. Score it four times, spaced about an inch or two apart, then try pulling the strip out with your fingers.
Try not to use your nails, as you might hurt yourself. A paring knife can serve you well here, to help you remove the more stubborn skin.
You can also boil or steam it for 8-15 minutes to loosen the peel. It should come right off, and you might have started to cook the plantain a bit.
Inside the plátano, there is a milky sap that you want to wash off. Be careful as it can be persistent and stain your clothes and nails. Peeling the plátano under a running tap can be a good idea.
Plátano sap is believed to have very healing medicinal properties, so if you’re into that, you can collect it.
Once you’ve got your naked plátano, it will oxidise and blacken quite quickly. Don’t be alarmed.
Depending on what you’re cooking, chop the plantain into short rounds, diagonal slices, or long strips.