Delicious Fried Bananas Dessert Recipe

Rediscovering Chinese Cuisine

I’ve always been captivated by the Mandarin language. During my college days, I studied Chinese for a year, and my passion for the language only grew stronger. To celebrate the end of the year, our professor graciously invited us to his house for an authentic Chinese dinner. Little did I know, it would be nothing like the Chinese food we are accustomed to in America.

As we stepped into their modest-sized home, a stunning grand piano dominated the living room. I could tell that his wife was also a music professor. We removed our shoes at the front door and gathered around the long rectangular table, which occupied the entire room. Despite the lack of space, this family made the most of it.

The dinner was filled with delightful surprises, like eggs soaked in tea, known as Cha Ye Dan or Cha Ji Dan. It was a completely new dining experience for me, one that I will never forget. Our professor went above and beyond to immerse us in his native culture.

However, after the classes ended, I lost touch with the language. All I can recall now is a simple “Ni Hao” meaning hello.

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Nostalgia for Golden-Crisp Banana Desserts

In my childhood, my parents used to take me to a small Chinese restaurant called Hunan Gardens. Stepping inside felt like entering someone’s home. One of my fondest memories was savoring their golden-brown crispy coated banana slices, adorned with honey and sesame seeds. These heavenly treats struck the perfect balance between the soft, caramelized banana interior and the crispy, almost buttery exterior. The dessert always left me longing for more.

Unfortunately, those warm and cozy family-run Chinese restaurants have slowly vanished since the 1970s and 80s, making way for large-scale Chinese Mega Buffets.

Lost Recipes and Culinary Explorations

I’ve always cherished my collection of Asian cookbooks, which I’ve amassed over the years. Among them are several Chinese books. The other day, I delved into them, hoping to find the recipe for those cherished bananas. However, the recipe seemed to be elusive. None of the older books contained it. In Madame Chu’s Chinese Cooking School Cook Book from 1975, I stumbled upon a reference to glazed yucca, the original Peking dessert which paved the way for the popular glazed bananas and apples found in American Chinese restaurants.

Eventually, in a more recent book, I did find a recipe for fried bananas. Yet, it didn’t quite meet my expectations. Many of the recipes I came across included eggs or milk, but I believed a lighter coating would be more fitting. So, I decided to do some online research, combining the best parts of various recipes to create an exceptional one that both you and I can enjoy forever!

Fried Bananas: A Street Food Delight

In China, dessert is not consumed in the same way as it is in America. Sweet treats or sweet teas are often served throughout the meal. As a popular street food, fried bananas can be found at numerous food stalls and bustling night markets. In restaurants, they are typically served with a scoop of ice cream, adding another layer of delight.

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Bananas Across the Globe

Fried bananas are not only beloved in China but also considered a delectable street food in countries like Vietnam. No matter the cultural variations in preparation, one thing is certain – everyone adores fried bananas as a mouthwatering treat! The roots of this beloved dessert can be traced back to West Africa.

In Thailand, they are known as กล้วยแขก (gluay kag), and they often use petite bananas. While you may stumble upon these unique bananas at the grocery store, you might be uncertain about their purpose. Initially, they might seem perfect for kids’ lunch boxes. However, these bananas go by many names around the world, such as mini bananas, lady finger bananas, baby Nino bananas, sugar bananas, sucrier, murapo, date bananas, orito, and fig bananas. For this recipe, we will be using regular bananas.

If you happen to come across those petite bananas, they would be an excellent choice, especially if you’re preparing them for a restaurant-like presentation. Otherwise, regular smaller-sized bananas will work perfectly. Just ensure they are not over-ripe with brown spots or too mushy.

Step-by-Step Instructions For Crispy Fried Bananas

  1. Start by slicing the bananas into quarters and removing the peel.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, including flour, sugar, baking powder, corn starch, and salt.
  3. Gradually add water to the mixture and whisk until you achieve a thin batter consistency, thinner than pancake batter. Adjust the water quantity as needed.
  4. Dip each banana quarter into the batter, shaking off any excess.
  5. Gently slide the coated bananas into the preheated oil, allowing them to float on the surface without touching the bottom of the pan. Fry until golden brown.
  6. Transfer the fried bananas to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.
  7. Finally, add your desired toppings and serve!
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Tips and Tools for Perfect Fried Bananas

To ensure your fried bananas turn out splendidly, here are some handy tips and tools:

  1. You can use a wok, non-stick frying pan, or a deep fryer for this recipe.
  2. For optimal results, make sure you have at least 3 inches of oil in your pan. The amount of oil required depends on the size of your pot. The goal is to ensure the bananas float on top of the oil and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Keep a large bowl, whisk, tongs, and paper towels handy for the battering and frying process.
  4. To avoid overcrowding the pan and maintain proper cooking temperature, fry only four banana pieces at a time.

Add Your Own Creative Flair

Now it’s time to get imaginative with sauces and ice cream pairings! While some recipes suggest adding cinnamon to the batter, I believe the batter should remain pure, allowing the decorations and accompaniments to shine. One idea is to add cinnamon to regular vanilla ice cream, stirring it in before refreezing it for a delightful twist.

Feel free to experiment with different flavor combinations. If you’re a banana enthusiast, you might also enjoy my Banana Sticky Rice Creation, which I entered in a Maple Syrup Contest.

Syrup and Sauce Suggestions:

  • Maple syrup
  • Chocolate syrup or chocolate sauce
  • Caramel sauce
  • Peanut butter sauce
  • Strawberry sauce
  • Hot fudge

Tantalizing Toppings:

  • Walnuts, pecans, almonds, or seeds
  • Sprinkles
  • Chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar, reminiscent of a funnel cake
  • Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries

Ice Cream Inspiration:

  • A scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • Ground cinnamon blended into the ice cream
  • Ginger-flavored ice cream
  • Chocolate ice cream
  • Rum raisin ice cream
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If you have any exciting ideas or unique combinations, please share them in the comments. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Don’t forget to leave a heartfelt review! Thank you for joining me today.

Watch the video below to witness just how effortless it is to make this mouthwatering dessert.

Watch the Video

This article was brought to you by Family Cuisine. Discover more delightful recipes on their website.

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