Plantains are the quintessential food item of the Caribbean. It’s loved all over Latin America but it is indispensable in Caribbean Cuisine. Dominicans, Puerto Ricans and Cubans use plantains in various staple recipes. Plantains are so versatile and can be cooked in many ways. Dominicans in particular eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, green or ripe, fried or boiled, sweet or salty, mashed or whole, dressed up or plain, the options are endless. One of my favorite plantain dishes is the Platanos al Caldero which literally translates to Plantains cooked in a cauldron. The sweet plantain is sauteed with oil, sugar and spices. Sometimes rum is added, as well. In the Dominican Republic, it is served as a side dish to provide a sweet, complimentary contrast to the rest of the meal and is not considered a dessert, contrary to popular belief outside the island.
Today I would like to share this favorite recipe, which I have re-invented by incorporating Kikkoman’s teriyaki sauce. I love to glaze carrots, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and just about any other vegetable with teriyaki sauce and that is why I decided to “kikk up the flavor” of my sweet plantains using Kikkoman. The result: amazing!
For this recipe the plantain used must be extremely ripe, black outside and almost mushy, but still firm enough to hold its shape. You may not find plantains like this in the store so I suggest you buy regular ripe plantains and keep them in a dark area not refrigerated for a few days to a week depending on how ripe you buy them in the first place.
The first step will be to peel and cut the plantains so they can be browned in a skillet. This is how the very ripe plantains will look like once peeled, cut and browned on all sides.
The next step will be to create an exquisite sauce with brown sugar, Kikkoman teriyaki marinade and water. Sugar and water are the base ingredients needed to create a syrup that traditional recipe calls for, but I have re-invented this recipe by adding the complimentary flavors of the teriyaki marinade.
Food cooked with teriyaki sauce is commonly paired with green onions. As we are using it in a Latin context, I decided to pair it with cilantro. This gives the dish a depth of flavor and that Latin touch that goes so well with the balance of saltiness and sweetness of Kikkoman’s teriyaki sauce. I loved the result, as the sauce adds plenty of umami punch without overpowering the true flavor of the sweet plantain.
Teriyaki-Glazed Sweet Plantains
2 very ripe plantains
2 tablespoons of oil
1/4 cup of Kikkoman teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of water
1 handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Cut the ends of the plantains, peel them and cut them in 4 pieces.
Add oil to a skillet on medium high and once the oil is hot add plantain pieces and sauteed them until all sides are golden brown. About 2 minutes.
In a small bowl mix well Kikkoman teriyaki sauce, brown sugar and water.
Bring the heat down to medium low and add the Kikkoman teriyaki sauce mixture to the plantains.
Let the plantains simmer in this liquid for about 10 minutes or until it’s reduced and caramelized.
When sauce thickens, turn plantains so they get coated and glazed by the Teriyaki sauce. Keep cooking for about 3-5 more minutes or until the plantains are soft and tender.
Once served, sprinkle with chopped cilantro for an added contrast of flavor.