Patacones from Panama are incredibly popular and you'll frequently see them available as a side dish in restaurant but more often they are treated as a snack; much like a portion of chips in the UK. You'll need to use unripe plantains for this as they'll hold better when being fried.
If you really can't get hold of unripe/green plantains; you can still use riper yellow one but avoid using brown plantains as they’ll be too ripe.
To start we need to slice and soak the plantains to remove some of the starch. In a large bowl, mix the salt and the water together and boiling water, stir until all the salt is dissolved and set aside until it's lukewarm which will give you time to sort out the plantains.
As they're unripe, be careful as you'll need a bit more additional pressure to peel away the skins. Slice the plantain lengthwise and peel back the skin. Once unpeeled, slice into 1-inch thick pieces and put them in the bowl of salted water. You'll want to leave them in the water for a good half hour. Afterwards, remove them and pat them dry with some paper towels as they'll be fried in oil.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer, deep pan or wok and bring the oil temperature up to about 160 C
Carefully add a handful of the plantain pieces into the oil and cook these until they are a light golden brown colour. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on some paper towel to absorb excess oil. Add another handful into the oil.
Take one of the freshly fried plantain pieces and using the base of a plate or a glass, squash the plantain gently until it's about 5mm thick (thickness of two £1 coins) and then set aside. Repeat until all the plantain pieces have been fried once and squashed.
Carefully add some of the now squashed plantains back into the fryer and cook for another couple of minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with some salt and serve with a guacamole dip.