Plantain chips, also called banana chips or chifles in Ecuador and Peru, are thin slices of fried or dried banana.
They can be sweet or salty, depending on the use of ripe or green banana respectively, and the addition of salt, sugar, honey and spices.
Usually chifles are made with green plantain bananas, whose slices are fried in oil, and then let to dry and cool off.
The chips made from ripe bananas can be used in granola or in dry fruit mix.
Chifles are also known as platanitos, platanutres, or mariquitas in other Latin countries.
In Ecuador is very typical to see hawkers or street vendors selling banana chips.
They can be found on the streets, at the exit of the schools, on the beach, on buses, and so many other locations.
The chifles are an excellent accompaniment to soups, ceviches and beers.
They can also be used as snacks served with salsa, tomato sauce or pink mayonnaise sauce (mayo and tomato mixed together).
CHIFLES OR PLANTAIN CHIPS
2 Green plantain bananas
Oil for frying
Salt to taste
Optional: Peppers and garlic to flavor oil
1) Peel the green plantains bananas under running water or in a bowl of cold water to avoid staining of clothing or cutting board. Green bananas are easier to peel than green bananas.
2) Cut the bananas into long and thin slices.
3) Heat oil, either in a deep pot or fryer until the temperature is between 375 F- 400 F. Use enough oil so that the slices of banana are completely covered when frying.
4) Add the sliced banana to hot oil, be careful not fry too many at the same time to prevent sticking. Fry until they begin to brown.
5) Remove the chifles from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain off fat.
6) Sprinkle with salt to taste. They can be served hot or cold.