Bolitas de Platano are chewy, soft, and juicy plantain balls. You only need 3 ingredients to make!
What are Bolitas de Platano?
Bolitas de platano are grated plantains that are seasoned and shaped into balls. They’re made all over the Caribbean and their cooking method vary.
My grandma made them and they were delicious! They were very tender and full of flavor from all the seasonings of the soup it absorbed.
- Green plantains- I used 1 green plantain. You want to use very green plantains for this recipe. This is because it will hold its shape when boiling and will have the savory flavor we are looking for in this recipe. But if you’re looking to fry this recipe then the plantains can be slightly yellow.
- Salt- I added ¼ of salt. Remember that we don’t need to add a lot of seasonings because they’ll absorb all the good flavors from the stock you cook them in. You can substitute salt for the same amount of adobo seasoning.
- Sazón- I used ¼ teaspoon of sazón for flavor and mainly to give the balls some color. You can substitute the sazon for 1 teaspoon of achiote oil for color.
- If you want to add more flavor to these plantain balls you can add sofrito into the mix. I have done it before and it tastes really good.
- You can also make these plantain balls spicy by adding red pepper flakes.
How to make Bolitas de Platano
Step 1: First peel your plantain by cutting the ends and making a line longwise. Then with the aid of your knife, slightly lift the skin and peel with your hands. If any pieces are left just remove them with the knife.
Step 2: Grate the plantain using a box grater on its smallest grating side.
📓 Note: You can ground the plantain 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 single-serve blenders.
Step 3: Season the dough and mix until all the dough is well seasoned. I usually taste a little bit of the dough to make sure is perfectly seasoned and is not bland or salty.
Step 4: Shape the balls. First, grease your hands up. I used oil but you can use butter or shortening. Take a tablespoon scoop dough into your hands and shape a ball. The ball won’t but perfectly shaped but that’s okay. Freeze for at least 10 minutes.
⭐️ Tip: If you’re having trouble shaping your balls, try freezing the dough for 10 minutes before shaping.
Step 5: Gently place the balls in your soup. Try to place them at least 1 inch apart to avoid sticking to each other.
Step 6: Cook for 15 minutes or til they feel firm in the middle.
☛ Important: Please do not move the bolitas while cooking. Doing so will risk the chance of the balls from falling apart.
Different ways of cooking
While in Puerto Rico we mainly add plantain balls to soups to cook them, there are other delicious ways to cook these. You can steam them, fry or even air fry them. These other methods are great because give the balls a different exterior texture.
- The best way to avoid the bolitas from falling apart is by not touching them while cooking. But some people like to go the extra mile and add a tablespoon of flour. It acts as a binder to avoid any splitting in the plantain balls
You can make the bolitas ahead by seasoning, shaping, and freezing. But you must first freeze them in a tray where they’re flat and not touching other balls. Once frozen you can store it in a freezer bag or an airtight container. Make sure to thaw before cooking.
Store in an airtight container in your fridge for no more than 4 days. In your freezer, they are best kept for no more than 1 month. This is because they can start to absorb odors from your freezer.
Frequently asked questions
You should add these balls to your soup because are a great way to add more vegetables. Plus, your plantain balls will absorb the flavors you already have in your soup and will taste delicious. Another great benefit is that It helps to thicken your soup. This is done by releasing starch and tiny bits of plantain while they cook.
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 also use a greased ice cream scoop or even fill a pastry bag with the plantain and pipe the dough into your soup.
💬 Did you make this Bolitas de Platano recipe? Please leave a star rating, comment, or question below. I read all the comments and appreciate all the feedback. Thank You!
Bolitas de Platano (Plantain dumplings)
- 1 green plantain
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon sazón
- Peel your plantain and cut it in half. This is for better handling. Now grate your plantain with a box grater using the smallest holes side. Add your salt and sazón to your plantain dough. Mix until you see a uniform color.
- First, put a couple of drops of oil onto your hands to avoid the dough from sticking to your hands. Take 2 scoops of a tablespoon of the dough and shape it into small balls. Freeze for 10 minutes so your dough can firm up
- After you take the balls out of your freezer 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-sized pan over high heat, add water, and boil for 15 minutes or until firm. Serve and enjoy!
- You can use a small blender or a food processor to grate the plantain just make sure that there are no clumps.
- Make the bolitas fairly the same size to ensure even cooking.
- When shaping the balls, grease whatever you’re using to avoid the dough from sticking.
- The serving size is 2 balls for each serving.