Episode 211: Chino-Latino

Grilled Plantains

Grilled Plantains

Long before there was modern fusion cuisine, people cooked Chino-Latino. It originated with Chinese laborers who immigrated to Cuba and Trinidad and elsewhere in the Caribbean to work the plantations. They developed a unique mashup of Asian and West Indian cooking.

Serve this with Tangerine Teriyaki Chicken, in place of the rice traditionally served with teriyaki chicken.

Other Recipes from Episode 211: Chino-Latino


Grilled Plantains

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 4 very ripe (black) plantains
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
  • 4 tablespoons dark cane syrup, such as Steen’s
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus 1 cinnamon stick for grating
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, plus more as needed

Recipe Steps

1: Trim the ends off the plantains, but do not peel. Slice each in half lengthwise.

2: Make the glaze: Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a small saucepan. Stir in the cane syrup and cinnamon. Boil until thick. Keep warm.

3: Lightly brush the cut sides of the plantains with the glaze, then sprinkle lightly with brown sugar.

4: Heat the grill to high. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it.

5: Arrange the plantain halves on the grate, cut sides down, and grill until browned, rotating each 90 degrees to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the plantain halves over. Brush with more glaze. Continue grilling the plantains until soft (test with a toothpick). When ready, the plantain flesh will pull away from the skin.

6: Transfer the plantains to a platter or plates and pour the remaining glaze over them. Grate the cinnamon stick over the plantains and serve.

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2019 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein.