Bacon and…Plantains?

Zingerman’s 4th Annual Camp Bacon is coming soon and to help get everyone prepared, we’re sharing tasty excerpts and recipes from Ari’s book, Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon

Kieron’s Grilled Plantain with Mustard and Bacon

When Kieron Hales, sous chef at the Zingerman’s Roadhouse, first told me about this recipe, I thought it sounded a bit crazy. But, lo and behold, it’s actually delicious. Kieron hails (sorry, couldn’t resist) from England, but he learned this dish while he was working in Maine, from a Jamaican-born chef. The recipe works either on the grill or under the broiler, and you can make it with either ripe plantains or bananas. The latter will of course be somewhat sweeter, but both versions are quite good.  Kieron recommends making it with a thickly sliced, very smoky bacon—consider Broadbent’s, Edwards’ or Benton’s. It’s also very good with the long pepper bacon from Arkansas—the tropical flavors of the plantains and bananas go well with the equatorial accent of the long pepper.

So yeah, it sounds strange, but tastes darned good!


  • 2 tablespoons dried mustard (preferably Colman’s English)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 large ripe plantains (their skins will be mottled or black) or bananas
  • 4 teaspoons freshly ground Tellicherry black pepper
  • 8 to 12 slices bacon (each plantain requires 2 to 3 slices)


  1. 1. Soak a handful of wooden skewers in water for at least 1 hour or overnight. (I used 6-inch bamboo skewers, but toothpicks will work, as well.)
  2. 2. Mix the dried mustard and water together with a fork until it forms a paste. Let stand for 30 minutes so that the mustard’s flavor can “bloom.”
  3. 3. If using the grill, bring to medium-high heat. Alternatively, you can do the whole recipe, start to finish, under the broiler.
  4. 4. Rub each plantain with 1½ tablespoons of the mustard paste and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon pepper. Wrap each plantain in bacon slices, overlapping by one-third the width of each slice as you go. Secure bacon to the plantain by inserting skewers crosswise and at angles as necessary.
  5. 5. Place the dressed plantains atop an oiled grill. If the plantains are very ripe, grill them for about 5 minutes, then turn and repeat on the other side for another 5 minutes. If the plantains are less ripe—with yellower skins—you’ll want to keep them on the grill longer (about 8 to 9 minutes per side).
  6. 6. Carefully remove the plantains to a baking sheet and place under the broiler for another 15 minutes, or until the bacon is crisped and the plantains are caramelized.
  7. 7. Take the pan from the broiler, carefully remove the skewers and cut the plantains into chunks. Serve hot, with some English mustard on the side for dipping.

Serves 4 as a side dish, or 10 to 12 as an appetizer