Stuffed Plantain Boats
Recipe courtesy of Gabi Odebode for Food Network Kitchen

Stuffed Plantain Boats

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 serving
Plantain, also known as cooking banana, is enjoyed in many parts of the world. In West African countries (as well as the Caribbean and certain parts of South America due to African influence), plantain is used both unripe (green) and ripe (yellow/yellowish black). You can find unripe plantain boiled and pounded with cassava to make fufu. When the flesh ripens and turns soft and sweet, it is ideal for roasting or grilling. Growing up in Ghana, I enjoyed fried plantains especially with red red beans, but I have found many other ways to cook and appreciate them since. These plantain boats are baked until tender, then stuffed with a mixture of sauteed vegetables, spices and corned beef--an ingredient my mother loved to use when I was growing up. Enjoy this sweet and savory recipe that will impress a crowd.



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the tips of the plantains, then make a slit along the back of each, cutting through the skin from tip to tip. Remove the plantain skins using your thumb. Lay each plantain on its side and slice off a thin layer on the back (the outer curved area), about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. This will flatten the curved area and help the plantains sit on the cutting board without tipping over. Using a paring knife, make a 1-inch-deep slit along the middle of the front side of each plantain, starting from an inch away from one tip and stopping at an inch away from the other tip. Use your index or pinky finger to carefully widen each slit until you see the little black seeds in the middle of the plantain. Brush the plantains all over with about 1 tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle them with salt. Oil a baking sheet with another tablespoon of oil and add the plantains.
  3. Bake the plantains for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to bake until the plantains are yellowish and soft to the touch and the tips, sides and bottoms are caramelized, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet. Once the plantains cool, they can be easily lifted without breaking.
  4. To make the stuffing, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and tomato and cook until softened slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the corned beef and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is heated through, about 3 minutes. Mix in the curry, thyme, granulated garlic, bouillon powder and cayenne pepper, if using. Let simmer for 2 minutes. Allow to cool until warm.
  5. Use a teaspoon to scoop the stuffing into the opening of each plantain. Eat the plantain boat like you would a hot dog.