Chewy on the inside and soft and juicy on the outside are these Plantain Balls. They are the perfect addition when making soups that you must try.
What are Plantain Balls?
Plantain Balls are small balls that are made with green plantain that has been grounded and formed into balls. Then you add them to a soup and this is where the magic happens. Because 2 things will happen. First your plantain balls will absorb the flavors you already have in your soup. Two, your plantain will release tiny bits of plantain infusing your soup with some delicious flavor.
Where does it come from?
This particular recipe comes from the Caribbean. In Puerto Rico specifically, plantain balls are made with plantain dough, a little bit of salt and a little bit of sazón for flavor and color. But almost every country where plantain grows has a variation of this recipe. The difference is in the seasoning and the extras added. Some people add ripe plantains while others add beans.
Why add Plantain Balls
The number one reason why you should add them is because the balls will make your soup better. It can help with thickening your soup and it adds a rich flavor to your soup.
Do I need to ground the plantains by hand?
You can ground by hand if you like but you don’t have to. You can make the plantain dough with a food processor or one of those very popular single serve blenders.
What is the best way to make it?
The best way to make plantain balls is by hand. This is because you can give it a really nice and rounded shape. But there are many ways you can choose how to make it. You can take two spoons and with the aid of each other make a small oval shape. With one spoon push the dough from the other spoon into your soup. You can even fill a pastry bag with the plantain and pipe the dough into your soup.
What to serve with?
Since you will be making this already in the soup you don’t need much on the side. You can have a piece of an avocado or some nice hot potato bread. But you can make and serve plantain balls in different soups like sancocho or shrimp soup.
Can I make ahead?
The best part of this recipe is that you can make plantain balls ahead. You need to season and form your balls and first freeze them in a tray. Once frozen you can store it in a freezer bag or an airtight container. Make sure to thaw before cooking.
How to store?
Store in an airtight container in your fridge for no more than 4 days. In your freezer they are best kept in an airtight container for no more than 1 month. This is because they can start to absorb odors from your freezer. When ready to reheat you just need to thaw first.
How to make Plantain Balls
1. In the first step you peel and grate your plantain. Use any tool you have available for this.
2. Secondly you want to season the dough. If you like spicy food then this is the time to add it.
3. Third, you want to shape the balls. I suggest using your hands, two spoons or a very small ice cream scoop.
4. Lastly, drop your balls into a soup.
1. Green plantains- this recipe uses green plantains. The greener the better because these are savory. If your plantains are turning yellow they can be sweeter.
2. Salt- I added ¼ of salt.
3. Sazón- the sazón is used to give it a nice umami flavor and for the rich color it gives.
- 1 green plantain
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sazón
- First, you need to peel your plantain and cut it in half. This is for better handling. Now grate your plantain with a box grater. Use the side with the smallest holes. Add your salt and sazón to your plantain dough. Mix until you see a uniform color.
- Now you need to shape your plantain dough into small balls. Try to make them fairly the same size. You can use a spoon or a small ice cream scoop to measure the balls. Freeze for 10 minutes so your dough can firm up a little bit. This is so they won't break apart whenever you pick them up.
- Usually, these plantain balls are made to be cooked in a soup you are already making. After you take the balls out of your freezer you immediately add them to your soup and cook for 15 minutes over high heat. If you are not making a soup you can still cook them. Just take a medium size pan, add water and boil for 15 minutes or until firm over high heat. Serve and enjoy.
- I have always used a box grater to make the plantain balls. I used the smallest side which is called the zester. This is the side that is the pokey, but you can use a small blender or a food processor. You just need to make sure that there are no clumps.
- If you are using your hands to shape the dough, it is good to add a couple of drops of oil in your hand to avoid the plantain sticking to your hands.
Hi! I’m Stephenie and I love to make food and share it with everyone. I make everyday recipes that are easy to follow and most importantly delicious! I hope that my recipes inspire you to cook.