Bolitas de Platano (Little Plantain Balls)

Everyone loves these sweet and salty savory treats. They’re great for a party!

Yield: about 25 small plantain balls

  • 6 large ripe plantains (unpeeled & cut in 3” chunks)
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 recipe Picadillo
  • 1 cup bread crumbs*
  • vegetable oil for frying


  1. In a large cook pot, bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the plantains and cook for 30 minutes or until plantains are soft.
  3. Remove from the heat, drain, peel and thoroughly mash the plantains until mixture is smooth and there are no lumps. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Using a small scoop or tablespoon, scoop up a small amount of the mashed plantain mixture and shape it into a 2” round ball by rolling it between your palms.
  5. Hold the plantain ball in one hand, then with the index finger of your other hand poke a hole in the ball and make a cave or pocket in the ball for the filling.
  6. Place a small amount (1 teaspoon or less) of the picadillo into the cavity created, then repair the plantain ball by sealing up the hole and re-rounding the ball in your palms.
  7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 until all balls are complete.
  8. Pour the breadcrumbs into a shallow pan, and roll the plantain balls into the bread crumbs until they are evenly coated.
  9. In a deep fryer or in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 to 3 inches of oil to 350° or until a plantain ball sizzles when it hits the oil.
  10. Drop the plantain balls into the hot oil, a few at a time (6-8) and cook until they are golden brown (3 - 4 minutes).
  11. Carefully remove the plantain balls from the oil and drain on paper toweling.
  12. Serve immediately or spread them on a cookie sheet and keep them warm in a 200° oven until ready to serve.

* I really like the new panko-style breadcrumbs for my bolitas de platano. While not traditional, they are crispier, do not burn as easily and fry up more beautifully than old-fashioned breadcrumbs.