Thursday, November 26, 2009

Deep Fried Banana Fritters

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.


徵信社 said...

it looks delicious!I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.


Precious Pea said...

Oooo...would love to try your batter recipe for frying Nien Gao with yam and sweet potato!

Sonia said...

I heard the story of adding plastic things. But I also know what outside stall add in to get it so crispy, "Kapur", can you believe this !! this was told by a makcik who was selling pisang goreng in my office's canteen. From that day onwards, I stop buying pisang goreng from outside stall.

tracieMoo said...

come to think of it, it's been a long time since I had pisang goreng. making homemade ones with better oil is much healthier than those sold outside. I've also heard alot of rumours that they use plastic straws and plastic bags in their oil. It's so scary to even hear it!

EADotCom said...

What a scream! You ACTUALLY experimented with the straws? Salute you!

Heard another rumour that they add Eno.... =)

zurin said...

Lets hope its a rumour.

Yes if you only use rice flour the batter is absolutely useless.I too always combine rice flour with plain flour.

If you want to know the Malays use air kapur or alkaline water (but I remember it was a whitish n wet paste)in their pisang goreng batter to make it crispy and golden.

i too would like a batter that stays crispy for hours but then I like eating my whatever goreng nice and hot so its nt a problem for me really.

oops I just read Sonia's comment about kapur. its not the kapur that is used for writing on the blackboard..Like I said its the 'edible' kapur... they also use it when they eat sireh(betel nut) ( a whitish wet paste). :)

Bento Pet said...

Hi Terri! Haven't been surfing much lately but visiting your site is always uplifting! Your recipes are a treasure and the pictures - mouth watering!!

When I get back to cooking next year I'm sure to try out your recipes!!

God bless and Merry Christmas!

TeaLady said...

I think I could do these - maybe. Do you have to use a special type of banana, or will any banana do.

They look like fun.

Anonymous said...

Hi, adding straws into the oil to deep fry food are hazardous to health..Please think twice..It's like consuming lots of maggie mee with wax..

Vivien said...

for a moment i thought you are advocating frying with straw pheww..

gerrie said...

Hi Terri, this is OT, but I am growing some sourdough starter, and was wondering if you have any use for some, as discarding half at each feed seems such a waste. Let me know!

ng said...

When you said you only know two ways to cook banana, I immediately thought of a third way... Banana Foster! Saute in butter and brown sugar serve with ice cream. Don't worry about feeding rum to the kids, the alcohol will burn off during the cooking and leave the taste only.

terri@adailyobsession said...

pp: ah, will do tt too :)

sonia: tt's what i've heard too

tracie:me too, i'd rather eat oily homemade fritters than stall fritters

eatotcom: eno has sodium bicarbonate, citric acid n sodium carbonate n all these give off carbon dioxide, making the batter puffed n light. sodium carbonate prolly works like calcium carbonate, which is kapur.

zurin: i think the chalk kapur is calcium carbonate, limestone, prolly in a less refined form.if tt's what they use, it's not as harmful as plastic so maybe we can sneak off for some fritters now n then.

bento: merry christmas too!!

tealady: here, we use a cooking banana but i think tt the recipe works for all semi-ripe bananas.

anon: er, i didn't advocate eating plastic fried bananas. i was just tring out the rumored recipe.

vivien: you read better

gerrie: aiya, you shd've offered the starter to me sooner bc i'm flying off today to china :(. but thanx tho! never made soudough bread b4. you might as well make sourdough bowls with the extra starter. in san francisco, we ate clam chowder served in a cute sourdough bowl, as big as a small coconut.

ng: i've made banana foster once, last year, but nobody in the family thought it was special ("just fried bananas with ice cream, mom") so i don't bother with tt but thnx for the suggestion.

gerrie said...

terri, have a fantastic holiday barring the cold that is. Let us know when you are back in town, should still have some starter, unless I have totally failed and killed it! Re sourdough bowls, let me deliberate, thanks for the suggestion.

katty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Nice work! Thanks for enlightening us on this.

I'm also a big skeptic on this issue. Been browsing for quite awhile until I came across your blog. People are saying that the plastics are put into the very hot oil until it melts and dissolves. Then only they put in the fritters.

Could you try experimenting on that also. Would really appreciate if you could and keep us posted.

Thank you very much.


Richard C. Lambert said...

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. Wilma Aguilar

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