While I was in language school in Guatemala, my teacher had the class do various activities outside of the classroom in order to learn Spanish in specific situations. One of the activities we would do as a class was cooking together. Rellenitos de plátanos were one of the first recipes we made, and they continue to be one of my favorite Guatemalan foods.
A typical Guatemalan breakfast consists of eggs, black beans, a piece of soft cheese, fried plantains, tortillas, and coffee. I find it interesting that these snacks/desserts include some of the same ingredients from breakfast — just making them a little sweeter!
Guatemalans hardly ever use green plantains, or plantains that are not very ripe. They typically wait for plantains to ripen to the point of having a mostly black peel and then they are ready to be cut and fried. The riper a plantain is, the sweeter it is.
Plantains and black beans are staple ingredients here in Guatemala, and most visitors are a little skeptical when I explain to them this combination of ingredients that goes into making this snack. However, these rellenitos de plátanos are surprisingly delicious and quickly become a favorite of everybody who tries them!
Hope you enjoy!
Here’s how to make Guatemalan Rellenitos de Plátanos!
- 6 ripe plantains
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 lb Guatemalan refried black beans
- 2-3 tbsp white sugar (depending on your preference for sweetness of the beans)
- 2 oz chocolate (semi-sweet chocolate chips are fine)
- Oil for frying
1. Cut the plantains into 3–4 pieces, with the peel on. Place into a pot and cover with water.
2. Bring water to a boil and then simmer for about 10–15 minutes until soft and tender enough to mash. (The cinnamon stick can also be added to the water for extra flavor if desired.)
3. Remove plantains from water and let cool.
4. Heat up refried black beans and add sugar and chocolate.
5. Remove the peel from cooled plantains and mash into a thick paste.
6. Roll a small amount of plantain paste into a lemon-sized ball. Then flatten it to form a small tortilla.
7. Place a small amount of the bean mixture in the middle and wrap the plantain around the bean mixture. Make sure the plantain is completely surrounding the bean mixture, or it will come out during the frying process.
8. Fry until the plantain is a golden brown color on all sides.
9. If desired, roll the rellenitos in sugar, sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with honey, and serve.
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