Homemade Colombian Patacones

by Erin

Ever heard of fried plantains? Well these babies are on a whole new level as I had the honor of being shown how to cook them (and stack all the toppings) by my friend’s mom from Colombia!

Homemade Colombian Patacones 5

This might be the longest recipe I have ever posted. But please, wait, don’t go! Today’s post is more about the experience because this isn’t just a recipe, it’s a story about how two of my friends’ moms visited from Colombia and showed me how to make real patacones! Patacones are fried plantains, just in case you weren’t aware.

Homemade Colombian Patacones 2

Making patacones themselves is not a difficult process. You first cut them in half, fry them, squash them flat, and then fry them again. That’s the part I got to take part in, and yes those are my feet stepping on the wood planks to flatten the patacones. Nothing’s better than stepping on your food before you eat it! Sure you could buy a fancy press from the store, but I’m not going to deny the efficiency of this method. They actually told me the presses are more difficult to use.

Homemade Colombian Patacones GIF

But making the patacones is actually the last step of the process. While I could eat a pile of fried plantains by themselves, I’d like you to try to deny that assembly line of toppings shown in the photo below. They actually made all of those before I arrived and set them up in the order deemed best (gotta trust the experts)! I can’t believe they spent almost all day preparing everything and I felt incredibly honored to be their dinner guests.

Homemade Colombian Patacones 1

It was such a fun experience and even better to devour all the delicious food while being surrounded by great people. Afterwards, I begged her to give me the recipes for pretty much everything. Since their mom’s are not fluent in English, my friend had to translate it for me, and now I am passing along the wealth of information. While I don’t think I could ever make them as good as they did, I don’t think I can wait until they visit again to enjoy them!

Homemade Colombian Patacones 4

Two years ago: Easy Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake

Three years ago: White Hot Chocolate Pods

Five years ago: Cheddar Chili Cornbread Pasta Bake


Serves 8



3 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 cup finely chopped scallions (greens and whites)

2 cups chopped tomatoes

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper


1 lb. flank steak (or ground beef)

4 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 cups hogao (see above)

1 tsp tomato paste


1 cup sour cream

2 scallions, greens chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste


1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tsp brandy

Salt and pepper, to taste


2 avocadoes, peeled and pit removed

1 small tomato, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp lime juice

1 tsp olive oil

1 jalapeno, deseeded and finely chopped

1/4 tsp salt

Ground black pepper, to taste


3 (red and green) bell peppers, julienned

1 small white onion, sliced

1/2 cup cubed tomatoes

2 Tbsp water

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of thyme

1 Tbsp ketchup

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp steak sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste


2 Tbsp olive oil

3 very ripe plantains (the riper the sweeter), peeled and cubed

1/2 cup crumbled chicharron (pork rind)


Vegetable oil

8 green plantains, peeled and cut in half crosswise


4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

Fresh shredded mozzarella

Pico de gallo


  1. For the hogao, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and then melt the butter. Add scallions and tomatoes and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add salt and pepper, and cook for another 10 minutes until thickened. Remove to a separate bowl and set aside.
  2. For the carne desmechada, in the same pan, place the flank steak, water, salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Save 1 cup of the liquid used to cook the meat, remove meat from the pot, let it cool and shred with a fork. Place beef back in the pot with the hogao and 1 cup of reserved liquid. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove to a separate bowl and set aside.
  3. While the beef cooks make the sour cream sauce, pink sauce, and guacamole. Mix all ingredients for each in separate respective bowls. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. For the peperoneta sauce, heat olive oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add peppers, tomatoes, water,bay leaf, thyme, ketchup, sugar, mustard, and cumin. Turn down heat to low, cover, and simmer until peppers are soft, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme stem, stir in the steak sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Remove to a separate bowl and set aside.
  5. For the plantains with chicharron, heat oil in the same pan medium-high heat. Add plantains and cook until brown and caramelized. Remove plantains from the pan and place on paper towels to drain. Transfer to a bowl and mix with crumbled chicharron.
  6. Wipe the same large pan clean and place over medium heat. Heat 1-inch of vegetable oil until hot. Fry plantains on both sides until the exterior is golden, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from oil, and immediately flatten (we put it in plastic bag and smashed between two boards by standing on them). Fry again until dark golden. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Serve immediately with prepared toppings.

Source: Recipe from Maria Lilia, translated by Juan, and adapted slightly from the internet (for measurements).

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Cecy May 18, 2019 - 12:17 pm

I’ve made these twice and thoroughly enjoyed it. I watched a TV show that highlighted this patacone and glad I found your site. I’ve changed the fillings to suit what I had in my kitchen- did it once with pork and a second time with beef. Used siracha instead of ketchup. Thanks!

spiffycookie May 19, 2019 - 4:34 pm

Yay I am glad you enjoyed them!

TAMMY CUEVAS December 22, 2016 - 10:56 pm

This sounds wonderful. My husband is Puerto Rican, so we fry plantains to make tostones, but it’s obviously the same thing, just smaller and with no toppings. We’re definitely going to try this!

spiffycookie December 26, 2016 - 7:36 pm

Can’t wait to hear how you liked them!

Susan December 22, 2016 - 5:21 pm

Actually, I have had fried plantains before, but not done with this method. They are more like chips, or the other way I’ve had them (or bananas, not sure which) is breaded and fried, which I get on our favorite cruise ship when I get the Indonesian Fried Rice. They are okay. In this case it’s the toppings that leave me less than enthusiastic. Even though I love avocados, neither of us likes guacamole, and I’m tired of tomatoes in [seemingly] everything. The idea of theses intriguing if I could come up with other toppings.

Susan December 22, 2016 - 12:56 pm

I’m usually adventurous with food, but I’d have to taste this before deciding to make it – and that’s even though I trust your taste in food. Maybe I’m not familiar enough with South American food?

spiffycookie December 22, 2016 - 2:21 pm

Have you never had a fried plantain before? Oh man you’re missing out if not! As for the toppings, I don’t think it’s anything particularly unusual. Just imagine a tostada except it’s a fried plantain and then all the toppings!


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