Monday, March 28, 2011

Banan Peze (Buh-nun Peh-ze)

I may be biased (I probably am) but Haitian food is one of the best cuisines in the world!

It's always delicious, full of spices, and incredibly filling.

When you grow up in a Haitian household, you always know what's for dinner--some kind of rice, beans, and a variation of meat.

I didn't appreciate the deliciousness of my culture's food when I lived at home, but now that I live in a different state and am a grown up (BARF), I no longer have my mom, grandmother, and aunts cooking these daily meals for me, and I miss it--A LOT.

This past week I was stocking up on ice cream grocery shopping and I saw that there was a new display of plantains in one of the produce  bins. Well, Banan Peze immediately popped into my mind.

Banan Peze  in Haitian Creole literally means "pressed plantains" and that is exactly what these are. My beloved Latino friends call these Tostones or Platanos, but they're Banan Peze to me.

Mmmm, they are so good! You know it was a good day when you came home from school and saw your mom frying up some banan peze. :)

My friends were visiting this weekend so I thought I would cook up a batch for them to try.

After an unfortunate moment where I had the oil burning a tad bit too hot resulting in me almost burning down my apartment and blinding my friend Takena with the smoke, they came out pretty well! My ladies devoured them.

Typically, we Haitians serve these up with a delicious fried pork dish called griots, but I have not mastered cooking those yet so I'll save that for another day. However, I did make the "gravy" that all Haitians make but has no name really. I  think it's called, sauce? That's it.  It's a tomato based thing.

I made everything from my memories of watching my  mom cook them so my recipe may be a bit off, but I think not too much.

Hope some of you try these. They're so easy to make.  :)

Banan Peze Recipe (Made from memory)
 - 2 medium sized green plantains
 - 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
 - 1 tablespoon salt (adjust to your taste)
 - 1 cup of salted water
 - A cup  or cutting board or any device to flatten the plantains (I used a cutting board)

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a deep skillet. Don't let the oil get too hot because you don't want your plantains to get too brown.

2. While the oil is heating up, peel the plantains and then cut them in chunks crosswise in a diagonal.

3. Add the cut plantains to the heated oil and let them fry up for about 2 minutes per side. You want them to get a light golden brown color. When they're done, take them out of the pan and lay them on paper towels to drain.

4. Using whatever smashing device you choose, flatten out the plantains making sure you don't make them too thin.

5. Dip each flattened plantain in the salted water and then place back in the heated oil where you'll fry it for about 1 minute.

6. Take out the now fried plantain (Banan Peze) season with a little more salt and enjoy immediately. 

Haitian Sauce
- 2 tablespoons of oil
-About 2 (maybe 3) tablespoons of Tomato paste
-1 onion sliced into rings
-2 cloves of crushed garlic
-1 Bouillon cube
-Salt to season to your taste
-About 1/2  cup of water  
-About 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
-1 sprig of thyme (I used cilantro because it's what I had, but definitely use thyme)

1. In a frying pan heat up oil and sautee onions and garlic until fragrant.

2. Add in the tomato paste and then the water letting the mixture come to a boil.

3. Add the bouillon cube and the salt and bring the sauce down to a simmer.

4. Throw in the sprig of thyme and lemon juice and stir the sauce letting all of the flavors come together.

5. Serve with the plantains and enjoy.


  1. Thanks for sharing...I've eaten plantains with Cuban pork prepared by friends*...Yummy x 10!!! I've never cooked them myself so I'm beyond excited to try your recipe! Sounds comforting & delicious :)

    *actually a frienemy who won't share the recipe!

  2. I love trying new recipes like this. Sounds yummy!

  3. Stumbled across your blog and love it!! I love Banan Peze but have never been able to master my sauce! Thanks for the recipe {for the sauce} looking forward to trying it out.

  4. me zamni!! gade yon belle bagay!! Belle femme Creole kon fe Belle mange!!

  5. me zamni!! gade yon belle bagay!! Belle femme Creole kon fe Belle mange!!

  6. I'm so excited you posted this and that I found your site!
    I just came back from Haiti and i'm already looking up all the recipes for the amazing food we had. I've been looking everywhere for the name-less sauce ;)

    Thank you dear! Can't wait to make it.

  7. That was amazing! I made it this evening, along with rice and pork chops. I loved it with my rice :)