I love dessert. I love to bake, freeze, mix, whip, dip, fry, flambe, caramelize, melt and eat sweets. Fried bananas ranked high on my list of amazing desserts that I had only eaten in restaurants until I went to my friend Katie’s for dinner. (Witness my Thai green curry…)
Katie had taken a Thai cooking intensive where she was taught to use water infused with limestone to get the fried batter to come out perfectly crispy. She had a jar of water with pink lime in it that you shake early in the day and let settle, so that by the time you use it, the lime has settled to pink sludge at the bottom. She told me that using the water from the top that is just infused with limestone is the secret.
Sadly, I couldn’t find any limestone water at the Thai store, so I made these with L.A.’s finest filtered tap water instead—and they were still amazing! Crispy, doughy, and not too sweet on the outside, gooey hot and sweet banana on the inside. I used the recipe from ThaiFoodcast.com. See this link for a tutorial!
To deep fry, bring enough canola oil or vegetable oil to completely submerge a battered banana to a gentle boil. (I fried half-bananas individually in a small sauce pan to conserve oil, but it’s traditional to use a wok.) You may need to carefully free the dough from the bottom of the pan with a metal spatula if the banana touches bottom. And please be very careful while deep-frying: you do NOT want to get burned with hot oil!
We ate these with dulce de leche and coffee ice cream. And the next morning we used the leftover dough to make doughnuts. Now if only we’d had some oliang…
Thai Fried Bananas
- 3-4 firm bananas
- 1 cup rice flour (Mochiko brand, ideally) or all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup tapioca or corn starch
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. sesame seeds (black or white)
- ¾ cup water
- 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
Bring oil to a gently rolling boil. Cut bananas in half, and cut them again the long way, to get four equal pieces. Mix batter together. Coat each banana slice evenly in batter. Drop bananas (be careful not to splash) in hot oil. Fry bananas, completely submerged, until dough is golden and just crispy on the outside. Remove banana with frying strainer or metal tongs and set on paper towels, newsprint, or brown paper to drain. Serve hot with ice cream.