Fried Plantain Tacos With Black Beans and Heirloom Pico De Gallo

Sweet, crispy, and totally delicious.

Recipe: How to Make Fried Plantain Tacos with Black Beans and Pico de Gallo
 Courtesy of Tequila Cazadores

This recipe balances sweet plantains, which are cooked to crispy perfection, with rich, tangy black beans (cooked using lime juice and Mexican crema), and a refreshing pico de gallo to create the ultimate combination of sweet, salty, and savory flavors.

Recipe by Aarón Sánchez, courtesy of Tequila Cazadores.

Prep time

15 min.

Cook time

90 min.

  • 1 cup (½ lb) dried black beans, soaked in water overnight
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 small white onions
  • 1 ½ quarts water
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup crema
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 4 sweet plantains
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp minced serrano pepper
  • 12-16 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco

Drain the beans. In a large pot, combine them with the garlic, bay leaf, and paprika. Peel and halve one of the onions, stick a clove into each half, and add those to the pot, too. Cover with the water and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for another 60 to 90 minutes, until the beans are tender and creamy. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid, then drain. Remove, and discard the onion and bay leaf.

Put the lime juice and crema in a food processor, followed by the beans. Puree until smooth; if it’s too dry, add the reserved cooking liquid ¼ cup at a time.

Finely chop the tomatoes and remaining white onion; you should have about 2 cups tomatoes and ¾ cup onion. Toss the tomatoes, onion, and serrano with ½ teaspoon salt, and let drain in a colander while you prepare everything else.

Cut the plantains on a bias, into ¼- to ½-inch slices, and toss them to coat with the chili powder, cumin, pepper, and remaining 1 tsp salt. Heat the oil in a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat, and, when it’s shimmering, add the plantain slices in a single layer. Cook without disturbing them for about 2 minutes; when they’ve got a deeply browned crust, flip and cook for 2 more minutes.

Toast the tortillas over medium-high heat, directly over each burner, until the edges are charred on both sides. Use the back of a spoon to spread a thin layer of the black bean purée over the whole tortilla, then top with a few slices of plantain, pico de gallo, and queso fresco.