Pisang goreng, banana fritters
I know of only two ways to cook cooking bananas--boil or deep fry in batter. I love pisang goreng (deep fried bananas fritters: very crisp and delicious but definitely not to be eaten often because of the oil) but I rarely eat them and almost never cook them. You can get pisang goreng everywhere--food court, wet markets and coffee shops and they are cheap, about RM1/US$0.25 for 6 pieces if I'm not wrong. But the main reason banana fritters are bought and not home-cooked is because banana fritters are tricky to cook. Other than having to heat up a lot of oil, it is impossible to get the results of stall-bought banana fritters which not only are light, crispy and taste great but also stay crispy for hours in our humid weather. Because we can't crack the secret recipe for banana fritters that stay crisp for long, most of us believe the rumors that plastic straws added to the hot oil is the secret ingredient that keeps the fritters crisp. Plastic straws in hot oil for making crisp fritters, onions and garlic is rumored to be widely practiced in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. I find it hard to believe that people can be so unethical.
I used Amy Beh's recipe (with minor changes) and fiddled around with other combinations of flours. Amy's recipe made very good and crisp fritters that were a little too smooth and fine compared to stall-bought fritters, and I personally like them that way. Kinda like fine-dining banana fritters, if they do serve these humble snacks in fine retaurants. I tested a batch of bananas using a rice flour batter and they turned out too hard and coarse. In frustration, I combined the batter from Amy's recipe with the rice flour batter and the fritters turned out the best, staying crisp longest but still not as long as those from the fritters stalls.
Finally, I did what I've always wanted to do: add a straw to the oil. Maybe I didn't add enough straws to make a difference, because the fritter (I only cooked one fritter in the plastic oil, just to experiment) turned soft and soggy after a while, just like the other fritters. I'm beginning to think that the plastic straw in oil is a rumor, but that doesn't mean you should rush out and eat goreng pisang till you drop.
The following recipe makes great banana fritters that stayed crispy about an hour only. If you know of any recipe (sans plastic straws) that makes fritters like the stalls, please tell me.
Of course I didn't eat the fritter cooked in plastic oil.
In front, banana fritters as per recipe below and at the back, fritters using a lot of rice flour.
Deep Fried Banana Fritters
6 sabah bananas/cooking bananas
1/3 cup rice flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
2 t cornflour
1 t baking powder
pinch of salt
150 ml (or more) water
pinch of salt
1 T veg oil
1. Slice the bananas into thin pieces lengthwise.
2. Mix all the batter ingredients until well-blended.
3. Heat up 4 cups of veg oil. Coat each peice of banana in the batter and slip into the hot oil, keeping heat low but hot enough to keep the oil bubbling at the edges of the fritters. If you fry at high heat, the fritters will burn and become soggy very quickly. If the heat is too low, the fritters will be heavy with oil.
4. Turn over to fry the other side. Remove when brown and drain on paper towels.