BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Spiced Plantain Tacos

  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Cook Time 6 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $9

Summer food should feature bright, bold flavors, capitalizing on the incredible bounty of produce available this time of year. 

Summer food should not be over-thought.

It should be light, so as not to weigh you down in the heat. It should feature bright, bold flavors, capitalizing on the incredible bounty of produce available this time of year. It should be portable and picnic-friendly. And, most importantly, it should come together quickly, so that you have more time to spend enjoying it with the people you love.

This recipe fulfills all of the above. Ripe plantains get coated with an addictive yet utterly simple spice mixture of Ancho chile powder, ground cumin, salt and pepper (which, by the way, is also the contents of those stupid packets of taco meat seasoning, so go ahead and stop buying those and make your own for a lot less money instead).

When buying plantains, it's important to look for ones that look like a nearly-rotten banana. Pure yellow or green plantains will be too hard to work with. Using very ripe plantains will ensure that they are sweet enough to counterbalance the smoky spices and onion. That said, do keep an eye on them while they cook. It's fine for them to be soft, but you don't want them to turn to mush in the pan.

These are great on their own, but if you want to round them out into a fuller meal, add black beans and perhaps a crunchy slaw.



  • 1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder $1.50 for 1 oz.
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin $1.50 for 1 oz.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt Pantry
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper Pantry
  • 2 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced on the bias, into 1/2-inch thick pieces $1.50
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Pantry
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas $2 for 12
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped finely $0.50 for a whole onion
  • 1 avocado, diced $1.50
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves $1 for a bunch
  • sliced jalapeño Optional

Recipe Serves 3-4


  1. In a small bowl, combine the spices, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Arrange the sliced plantains on a plate or cutting board and sprinkle half of the spice mixture over them, making sure each one gets lightly coated on one side.
  3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan or griddle over medium-high heat.
  4. Cook the plantains (working in batches or using 2 pans, if necessary), spiced-side-down for 2-3 minutes, until a brown crust develops. While the plantains cook, sprinkle the remaining half of the spice mixture on the tops of the plantains.
  5. Flip plantains, and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes, until a brown crust develops.
  6. Once the plantains have cooked, turn the heat off, and leave the plantains in the pan.
  7. Toast the tortillas by either toasting them directly over a gas burner for 30 seconds to a minute, or in a dry frying pan. You want the edges to crisp up slightly, and the tortillas to be flexible.
  8. To assemble the tacos, divide the cooked plantains between the tortillas, and top with onion, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeño, if using.
  9. Serve immediately.

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What They're Saying

nancy, on May 22, 05:43 AM, wrote:

Its a great recipe, but good golly, where are you shopping? We’re brokeass, right? This is the kind of recipe where you can substantially cut the costs by shopping carefully and using an ethnic grocery

Aldi (here in Texas) and El Rancho or La Michoacana grocerscharge $3 for a stack of/80 tortillas. CIlantro, peppers, cumin and plaintains are basic ingredients in both Hispanic and Indian cuisine. The cost of this recipe could (literally) be cut in half by careful shopping and picking the grocery! See notes below
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder Texas:pay $1.50 for 16 oz dried ancho chile peppers at El Rancho market; grind and use MAYBE 15 cents worth
1 teaspoon ground cumin $1.50 for 1 oz. Texas: Cumin (aka “comino”) is 99 cents for /4 oz at Patel’s grocery, one teaspoon will cost about 5 cents.
1/2 teaspoon salt Pantry
1/2 teaspoon pepper Pantry
2 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced on the bias, into 1/2-inch thick pieces $1.50 (about the same at Patel’s and Aldi)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Pantry
8 6-inch corn tortillas $2 for 12 Texas: $2.99/80 at Ald or El Ranchoi; 29 cents worth
1/4 red onion, chopped finely $0.50 for a whole onion Texas: .79/lb (3 onions) at Patel’s Indian Grocery, actual price about 6 cents
1 avocado, diced $1.50 Texas: 29 cents at Aldi
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves $1 for a bunch Texas: 18 cents at Patel’s Indian grocery
sliced jalapeño Optional Texas: 59 cents for 4 at Aldi

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