Banana Que Pops (Filipino saba bananas with a crisp caramalised coating)
Get ready, get ready for your tooth’s first taste of hurt! Something I’ve missed from back home is Banana Que. A dish that unfortunately didn’t make it into my cookbook. Usually found at streets stalls across the Philippines, this sweet snack is super dooper popular with the locals. It is the ultimate Street F-O-O-D sometimes coupled with Ang Inihaw Na Mais (grilled corn). Enjoyed by all generations -everyone grew up eating it so you’ll see both Lola (grandma) and her grandson hand in hand with a skewer of Banana Que on the other. They may look ‘err, do you want me to froth at the mouth’ sweet, but you probably won’t even notice gunning down four in a row homeboy.
It’s made with Saba bananas aka Cardaba bananas grown in the Philippines. No bigger than your index finger, they’re smaller in size compared to your regular bananas but are much wider and firmer which makes them a great to cook with as they don’t end up all mushy. Think Turon (Pinoy version of banana fritter) and the colourful summer quencher Halo Halo. I was able to find a bag of saba bananas at my local Filipino grocery store – just look in the freezer. They covered in sugar, deep fried or in my recipe, they are shallow fried until the dope sugar coating caramelizes, removed to form a crisp shell, stabbed then run through a skewer so it can be eaten with ease. WIN! Who wants sticky fingers?! I like my coating to be quite thin so it makes it easier gallop them down whilst they’re piping hot hot hot! Cold Banana Que – Like dayem, not in this mouth.
Of course, being one to often deviate from the traditional recipe, I’ve remixed it a little by 1) using raw sugar instead of brown sugar 2) rolling them in sugar prior frying resulting in a more crunchy and even coating plus it works well when 3) shallow frying. So much easier and less disastrous than deep frying.
I decided to call them Banana Que Pops because admittedly, I ran out of BBQ skewers and only had these leftover fancy canape skewers to use which made them look like lil’ pops. I was actually going to add hundreds and thousands too….so whaaat!
4 saba bananas (I made 4 but it didn’t plate well for the pic lol)
4 canape skewers or regular skewers cut in half
Optional: hundreds and thousands/sprinkles for the kids
1. Thaw the frozen saba bannas in the fridge overnight
2. Heat up the frying pan on medium heat then add the vegetable oil enough to shallow fry the fools
3. Throw on a handful of raw sugar onto a flat surface
4. Roll each banana into the sugar one by one until they are fully coated.
5. Carefully lay them onto the oil one by one
6. Cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side until it caramelises. Sprinkle a little more sugar on each side and gently but quickly turn them over a few more times until they form a nice golden brown colour with spotted dark hues.
7. Using a tong, place each piece onto a plate with some non stick paper to cool for 5 minutes
8. Run the canape skewer through each piece and serve it into your Luna Park sized mouth.
You’ve been served!
Street Food at its best. You may wanna make more than the suggested four in this recipe!
PIMPED UP Jeepneys back home!
Making this dish made me miss back home even more, so I’ve uploaded a video I filmed whilst observing the pimped up Jeepney’s in Spanish Manila, Intramuros. How cool are they?! I even spotted one that had my star sign written on the front – Aquarius! The owners take much pride in their trusty sheens. It’s like their form of expression and inject their personalities into the creative and at times, totally outrageous designs.
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Keep eating…LIKE CRAZAAY!