Plantain Spiders – Arañitas de Platano

plantain spiders arañitas de platano

Food is a feast for the senses.  The first point of attraction is the way a dish looks and how it is presented.  Smell wafts through the nose.  Fingers and mouth take on texture and temperature.  Before the taste buds can have their way, it all explodes with a deafening CRUNCH.

I love plantain spiders – aka. arañitas de platano.  They are bites that truly engage all five senses.  Eating them is a loud experience.  That crunch, the hit of salt, the unmistakable smell of fried plantain.

If you’ve shied away from making plantain spiders at home, it couldn’t be easier.  Keep in mind the following tips:

  • Always keep track of the oil’s temperature using a thermometer.  A good one won’t set you back more than $15. Make sure the oil does not heat over 360˚F or under 340˚.

Oil for frying plantain spiders arañitas de platoon

  • Don’t make the spiders too big.  If you are using a deep fryer, you might be able to make larger arañitas with better chances to fry them evenly.  Otherwise, stick to two or three tablespoons of grated plantain.
  • Don’t press the arañita too tightly.  Some people grab the grated plantain and squeeze it into a ball.  If you do that, there’s a chance the plantain will not cook all the way through the center.  Grate the plantain in a cutting board or on top of a silicone baking mat.  Form the little mounds and press them down gently with two fingers.  The starch in the plantain will bind together the spider while you wait for the oil to be ready.   There will always be some stray plantain bits.  Think of them as cook’s bonus.  Eat them after they cool down or save them and toss them in a soup or chili.

Grated plantain for plantain spiders arañitas de platano

  • Scoop the spider from the cutting board with a spatula and gently lower it into the oil to prevent the plantain bits from breaking up.  A kitchen spider is best for scooping the arañitas and the stray plantain bits pun/coincidence intended!

plantain spiders arañitas de platano

  • Keep a plate lined with paper towels and salt handy.  You want to drain and season the arañitas as soon as they are removed from the oil.
Plantain Spiders
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One large plantain yields approximately 7 "spiders". Plan on serving three per person as a side dish.
Servings Prep Time
2servings 5minutes
Cook Time
10minutes
Servings Prep Time
2servings 5minutes
Cook Time
10minutes
Plantain Spiders
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
One large plantain yields approximately 7 "spiders". Plan on serving three per person as a side dish.
Servings Prep Time
2servings 5minutes
Cook Time
10minutes
Servings Prep Time
2servings 5minutes
Cook Time
10minutes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the plantain on top of a silicon baking mat or cutting board. Form six or seven mounds of about two to three tablespoons of grated plantain, pressing down gently.
  2. Heat about two inches of oil in a skillet to 350˚F. When the oil is ready, carefully slide the plantain spiders with a spatula into the skillet.
  3. Cook the spiders in the oil for about three minutes per side or until they are golden.
  4. Drain in paper towels and season with salt.

 

Plantain spiders - arañitas de platano

Plantain spiders – arañitas de platano cooked all the way through

Plantain spiders are great enjoyed plain, dipped in mayoketchup, as a snack or a side dish.  They make great companions to home stews and soups.

Still have questions on how to make these delicious bites?  Go to the comments section or take it to Facebook and Twitter.  Buen provecho!

plantain spiders arañitas de platano

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Author:Adriana

Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

2 Responses to “Plantain Spiders – Arañitas de Platano”

  1. November 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    These look good! I am considering a Caribbean-themed dinner for my daughter’s birthday this year and have been looking at fried plantain recipes. Two questions: when you call for green plantains, do you mean unripe ones? Are these best eaten right away, or could I make them a few hours ahead? Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • November 20, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

      The plantains for the arañitas are literally green (and unripe). Unfortunately they can’t be made ahead of time. Ripe plantains (yellow with black spots) are more forgiving in that sense. They hold up better if they are baked rather than fried.

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