Fried Bananas - Seriously, These Things Are Great!

in #food5 years ago

While visiting a friend in California last year, he took us to a restaurant where he ordered some fried bananas. 

I'd had fried plantains before, which I found very underwhelming. They're fine, but just sort of bland starchy filler, as far as I'm concerned. But he raved about them, so I went ahead and ordered some.

The bananas they used were about 4-5" long, sliced lengthwise about 3/16" thick. And, to my amazement, they tasted great. They didn't taste like anything I expected. Instead, they had this sort of sour sweetness that was complemented by the frying. But I hadn't had any since then, and hadn't given it a lot of thought since nobody around here serves them.

When at a market the other day I saw some of these little bananas, so figured I'd give them a whirl. I expected them to taste like regular bananas, just smaller. But when I got them home, they were pretty disappointing. They were pretty bland and starchy, but had this sourness to them. It was a familiar flavor that took me a bit to place. Yep, those fried bananas my friend introduced me to in California.

So, what did I do? What else? I opened them up and started slicing as I heated coconut oil in the cast iron skillet. I wasn't stingy about it either, putting it in over 1/8" thick. 

It was an experiment for me, so I really wasn't sure what to do. But, hey, I've fried and sauteed things before, so it couldn't be that hard, right?

There are a lot of recipes out there that involve flower and/or honey. But I just wanted to see what I could do with the bananas. So, once the oil was good and hot, in the banana slices went.

At first it seemed like they were going to just get soggy. Some started to separate when I moved them.

A couple of things I learned:

  • Lift them off the bottom a couple of times as they start cooking to keep them from sticking. Even through the deep oil, they wanted to cling to the bottom of the pan. But just lifting them a bit to get the oil under them, they wouldn't stick.
  • After a while, they'd start to carmelize, gaining firmness on the cut areas. So my goal became to get them carmelized on each side.

It certainly was no disappointment. The caramelizing brought out a sweetness of the banana that was complemented by the sourness.

As I took them out of the oil, I'd drain them and set them on a plate. After a layer was on the plate, I decided to sprinkle a little cinnamon on them. Yep, that worked too!

I really don't know if there are right and wrong ways to do this. What I do know is that these taste great, and I'll look forward to serving these to guests - at least when I have enough that I'm willing to share! :) 

Steemin' on,
Another Joe

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Hello @anotherjoe! This is to let you know that your post is featured on the Steemitrecipes Daily Picks - Entry 008!

Yay!! Thanks.
The mango salsa really is a better recipe though! :D

I enjoy eating them as a topping to vanilla ice cream. Sometimes with a little additional honey.

Ohhh, with ice cream. Of course, everything goes with ice cream. :)

I only eat them similar to your recipe in Africa and they are tasty.

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I've seen the very small bananas but never buy them because in my head I'm thinking they're not done. LOL
One of my best friends from my youth used to have platanos maduras fritos all the time. delicious! I've never made them because I'd probably be the only one eating them but every time I see a plantain I have those memories. Ahhhh....food. :)

Yeah, I ended up eating all these myself.
Some of the little bananas are sweet, but these had that starchy sour flavor. Since it reminded me of the ones I'd had before, I figured I'd give it a go.
I had some of the fried plantains in Haiti. They were very mediocre to me. But they eat them like Americans eat Fries or chips.

My friend is Puerto Rican and it was very flavorful. Actually, I have a sneaking suspicion she sprinkled adobo or something on it. She puts adobo on everything! LOL

Another idea add to my ever growing list - thank you! Steem ON

Good post and hopefully people who nothing about this will have learned a new dish , but to me nothing new in fried bananas as people have been frying them for years. In the 70,s you couldn't go to a Chinese restaurant where they were not on the menu.
Maybe times have changed

It probably depends on where you are. I might have seen them in a Chinese restaurant, but they never jumped out at me. We're in the Southwest US, where Mexican food is pretty dominant. I don't recall going to a Chinese restaurant until I was in my 20s, though we might have and I just don't remember.

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