Whether sweet or salty, as a main course or as a dessert - the pisang fig cuts a good figure everywhere.

Whether sweet or salty, as a main course or as a dessert - the pisang fig cuts a good figure everywhere.
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All-rounder plantain: all you need to know about the versatile pisang fig

The banana is one of the most popular fruits, while the plantain is relatively unknown - yet it can be used in many ways in the kitchen. Falstaff provides tips for preparation as well as a street food classic from Ghana.

They look very similar, but in terms of taste, the plantain has very little to do with the common banana; is there really a danger of confusion? Basically, it is quite simple: plantains are larger, longer and thicker, and have a thicker skin and firmer flesh than conventional bananas.

Fruit or vegetables?

Strictly speaking, the plantain is a fruit, but it is consumed like vegetables. It is similar to a potato, a real all-rounder. But how to properly exploit the versatility of the plantain, also known as pisang fig?

The correct preparation

An important piece of information for the (perhaps somewhat naive) but hungry kitchen pioneers: raw, the plantain is completely inedible. However, the fruit can be processed into various dishes. When buying, one should pay attention to the degree of ripeness of the plantain, as in conventional fruit bananas, recognisable by their colour. The degree of ripeness also determines which dishes the pisang fig can be processed into.

Green: The counterpart to the potato

Since green plantains have the lowest degree of ripeness, they feel very firm. They have a high starch content and a low sugar content. In this state, they can be prepared similarly to potatoes: fried, boiled, in soups or as banana chips.

Yellow: Sweetie enters the room

To prepare the yellow plantains optimally, they must not be too firm. Their flesh should be orange-pink color. Their slightly sweeter taste makes them suitable for grilling and baking. They make a particularly good sweet accompaniment to savory dishes.

Black: Don't throw it away

If the plantain already has dark spots or is even completely black, it is not spoiled, but simply very sweet. During ripening, the starch in the banana has converted to sugar, making it perfect for desserts and sweet accompaniments. Nevertheless, once the plantain is mushy, it should not be eaten.

Nutritional values to brag about

By the way, the plantain - just like the fruit banana - per 100 grams provides 10 percent of the daily requirement of magnesium, potassium and vitamin C. So it's also worthwhile from a health point of view to occasionally reach for them in the supermarket and embark on new gourmet journeys of discovery; a first start would be Kelewele from Ghana.

Ferdinand von Vopelius
Ferdinand von Vopelius
Portalmanager Österreich