Pisang Goreng (Indonesian Fried Bananas)
So, like many things in life, there are at least two ways to go about this. The classic way to make this dish is to use firm-ripe yellow plantains, which, in actual appearance, should be turning nice and black on the outside, for the most part. Don't worry, the insides are still perfectly good — they're quite different from bananas.
The other way to do this is to use regular old, ripe bananas. They should be really fragrant and have spots all over. I actually prefer this preparation because that's the way my mom made them when I was growing up — bananas are just much easier to find than plantains here in the States.
Much to my surprise, I was able to find plantains, so I made the dish both ways. So, what's the difference? Well, if you like a chewier texture and a starchy taste, use plantains. They're more appropriate as a side dish and end up looking nicer when deep-fried. (Hence, the plantains are pictured at left.)
On the other hand, if taste matters more to you than appearance, use bananas. Deep-frying them with the light batter transforms the interior into a gooey masterpiece and the crust turns nice and crispy around the edges. For some reason, deep-frying them also brings out a little tang that makes them even more addictive. This ends up tasting more like a breakfast dish, which is the way it's eaten in Indonesia, or with a little ice cream, it can be a great dessert.
- 3 Cups canola oil
- 1/2 Cup tapioca or rice flour
- 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 Cups water
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 5 ripe bananas or 3 firm-ripe yellow plantains, peeled and cut on a bias into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- Cinnamon, to taste
- Powdered sugar, to taste
Heat the oil in a 2-quart pot to 375 degrees.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the tapioca flour, all-purpose flour, water, salt, and sugar to form a loose batter. Line a plate with paper towels for draining. When the oil is ready, dip 3 slices into the batter and carefully slip them in (the batter will make the bananas slippery, so you may want to lower them in using a slotted spoon).
Fry each batch until light golden, about 4-5 minutes. Remove each batch with a slotted spoon to the plate to drain, and dust with cinnamon and powdered sugar, to taste, while still hot. Serve immediately and enjoy.