Patacones (Fried Plantains) with Sea Bass Ceviche

Double-frying smashed, unripe plantains yields patacones, which are the ideal scoop for this bright and colorful sea bass ceviche.

White Fish Ceviche with Patacones

Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Audrey Taylor

Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
4 to 6 servings

Bibiana González Rave, owner and winemaker at Alma de Cattleya in Sonoma County, California, pulls inspiration from her Colombian heritage and travels to guide her cooking. While studying winemaking in France, she fell in love with the delicate sweetness of shallots, and combines them here with fresh herbs and coconut milk in a mouthwatering sea bass ceviche that also bring forth the flavors of her Colombian upbringing. “In Colombia, both the Pacific and the Atlantic touch the land. Both have an incredible diversity of seafood, so fish, shrimp, and other shellfish can all be used in ceviche,” she notes. 

For this patacones recipe, look for unripe plantains with skins that are soft and greenish-yellow in color.  Double-frying them yields wafers with a tender, fluffy center with a crispy shell. Avoid choosing plantains with skins that are completely green — they will give the patacones a starchy texture and taste.



  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 3 medium-size greenish-yellow unripe plantains (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick coins

  • Kosher salt, to taste


  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced orange sweet mini bell peppers (about 5 peppers), plus more for garnish

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as cilantro and purple basil), plus additional leaves for garnish

  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced crosswise (about 1/3 cup)

  • 2 thinly sliced radishes (about 1/4 cup), plus more for garnish

  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 3 limes), divided

  • 1 pound skinless sea bass, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced jalapeño chile, plus more for garnish and for serving


Make the patacones

  1. Pour oil to a depth of 3/4 inch in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet; heat oil over medium-high to 325°F. Fry plantains, turning occasionally, until plantains are tender when pierced with a paring knife and turn a buttery yellow color with light brown spots, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. Let cool 10 minutes. Remove skillet with oil from heat, and set aside.

  2. Using the flat bottom of a measuring cup, smash each plantain to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Return skillet to heat over medium-high, and heat oil to 350°F. Working in 3 batches, fry plantains until crisp and light golden, about 4 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time. Transfer to a paper towel–lined baking sheet, and season both sides of plantains with salt to taste. Let stand at room temperature, uncovered, until ready to serve, up to 4 hours.

Make the ceviche

  1. Stir together bell pepper, coconut milk, chopped herbs, shallots, radishes, and 3 tablespoons lime juice in a medium bowl. Cover and chill 15 minutes.

  2. In a separate medium bowl, stir together fish, salt, black pepper, and remaining 3 tablespoons lime juice. Cover and chill 5 minutes.

  3. Stir fish mixture and jalapeño into coconut milk mixture. Divide ceviche evenly among 4 shallow bowls, and garnish with fresh herb leaves, bell pepper, radishes, and jalapeño slices. Serve ceviche with patacones and additional jalapeño slices on the side.

Suggested pairing

To pair with this recipe, Rave reaches for one of her own winery’s Sauvignon Blancs: Alma de Cattleya. “My Alma de Cattleya Sauvignon Blanc has citrus and floral notes that blend perfectly with the lime juice here — this combination of my Colombian roots and California wine is an explosion of flavors,” she says.

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