Allow me to put it simply; Coconut crumbed bananas
I love it hot.
I love it fried.
I want to do the right thing.
But I’m such a sucker for bad food.
There’s no sugar coating it; deep fried foods are bad news. But I tremble at the mere mention of fried chicken, fish and chips and deep fried mars bars. Oh bestill my oil-soaked heart! I will never be a poster child for good nutrition but I am slowly adapting to the old adage of ‘everything in moderation’. And what is it about a piping hot fried banana that sends shivers down my spine? I love all banana desserts but once you give it a sizzling oil bath, magic happens.
These days, instead of dipping bananas in a stodgy batter and frying it into a greasy fritter, I crumb it. It’s still not going to win points in the nutritional pageant but it’s definitely a more ‘lighter’ alternative. The coating of crumbs also means that the bananas stay crispier for longer and there’s less chance of it descending down into soggy sponge territory (nothing worse than a limp, greasy banana am I right?). If you can, use Japanese Panko breadcrumbs for ultimate crispy heaven.
Nothing beats the combo of hot coconut crumbed bananas with cold, creamy ice cream. I usually opt for vanilla and sometimes if I’m feeling extra indulgent, I head towards peanut butter, chocolate or caramel. But ever since I found this awesome coconut ice cream recipe through David Lebovitz (which he in turn, adapted from a cookbook from my other favourite blogger Delicious Days), there was no turning back. It’s quick, easy, uses only three ingredients and there’s not one egg in sight. Everything about this dessert blows my elastic-wasted pants off.
- About 3 large ripe but firm bananas. The size of your fruit is, of course, your choice ;)
- Plain flour
- 1 large egg, beaten with about a tablespoon of coconut milk
- 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (Japanese Panko is best)
- 1/2 cup dried shredded coconut
- Canola or Sunflower oil
- 320ml pure cream (aka heavy cream or whipping cream or any cream around 35% fat content)
- 500ml coconut milk *
- 120g palm sugar **
- * My favourite brands are Kara and Ayam. Just make sure it says about 80-100% coconut extract in the ingredients list.
- ** Make sure the palm sugar is grated or chopped so it’ll melt easier. Can be substituted with light brown sugar.
- Mix the breadcrumbs and coconut until combined in a dish and set aside.
- Peel and cut the bananas in half (across the width) and set aside.
- Place oil in the pot about 1.5-2 inches thick and heat up to 180°C. Oil is ready when a cube of bread turns golden brown in about 15-30 seconds. Another way to test is to stick the handle of a wooden spoon or wooden chopsticks in. If it starts to bubble around the spoon immediately then it’s ready.
- Simple rule for deep-frying – if the oil is too hot, the outside will burn and cook too fast without the insides heating up adequately. Too cold and food will be greasy and heavy so it’s important to moderate the temperature of the oil correctly.
- Coat the banana halves with the flour, patting off the excess then dip it in the egg mixture before dropping it on the crumbs to coat. If you wish to double coat it for extra crunch, dip it back into the egg wash and crumb it again.
- Drop it gently into the hot oil and deep fry, turning it once until it’s golden all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue with the remaining bananas.
- Do I need to tell you the next step? Proceed to eat (just don’t burn your fingers!).
- In a medium-sized saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat, and chill the mixture thoroughly (preferably overnight).
- Once chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Voila! How friggin’ easy was that?
- Ice cream adapted from a recipe from Delicious Days by Nicole Stich (via David Lebovitz).
Fry baby fry!