Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thai Fried Bananas

I can't profess to know whether these are "authentic" Thai fried bananas or not, but I can tell you - and my family  will enthusiastically agree - that these are good.

A few years back there was a woman from Thailand who lived in our town and did catering. My husband was at a party one evening where she provided the food, and raved about her Thai fried bananas for a very long time. People knew he liked these bananas, and considered stashing some from other parties they attended so he could have some. I finally got to work in the kitchen to try to recreate them for him. They were good. But not this good. (Or perhaps my memory has faded over time.)

I haven't tried to make these for him since we've been gluten-free. In fact, I'd nearly forgotten about them. When Meg from Gluten-Free Boulangerie, our host for this month's Gluten-Free Ratio Rally (thanks, Meg!), said we'd be doing doughnuts and fritters as our challenge this month, I was really excited. (If you aren't familiar with the ratio rally yet and want to see what it's about, here is my rally page where I have all my ratio rally posts where you can get some explanation. Ratio baking really gives you a lot of freedom!)

Logo designed by Anile Prakash
It was time to tackle gluten-free doughnuts. I'd recreate good old yeast-risen, Krispy-Kreme style doughnuts for my family - or at the very least the fantastic doughnuts from the hole-in-the-wall bakery in a neighboring town. Oh, the visions I had dancing in my head ...

It didn't happen.

I tried. Honestly, I only gave it one solid effort after spending a significant time figuring out the ratio I wanted, comparing it to other non-gluten-free recipes, and then adjusting it as the recipe progressed. It was a big fail.

Well, I guess not entirely. The taste was at least good. The texture was bad. Very bad. The dough that I thought would, wouldn't. After it rose beautifully and I rolled it out, cut it (realized it was falling apart waaay too much) and let it rise again, I realized it wasn't going to keep its shape at all. Oh well, it would still make great doughnut holes and misshapen doughnuts. Wrong. It absorbed the oil (yes, it was hot enough and yes, it was deep enough) and became rock-hard. Rock-hard fried grease balls with a doughnut taste. Yuck. (Good thing I started out with a small batch!)

After dealing with some stressful issues not related to my kitchen and being beyond exhausted, I didn't have the strength to try again immediately. I will, though. I will. In the meantime, I'm going to try out some of the oh-so-yummy doughnuts and fritters posted by my fellow rally participants. It looks like Meg even had something similar in mind as my original plan. Yes, please!

So, as I was preparing to move on to apple fritters like the kind you buy in the good bakeries - and NOT the grocery store bakeries, it occurred to me that the fried bananas are a type of fritter, too. And I'm glad I decided to go for those, because they are ever so good, and easy to eat without feeling like you just ate too much sugar after only a few bites. (And I'll be going back to my fritters and attempting the apple at some point, too. Probably before I try the doughnuts again. *Shudder*) They are pretty simple to make. (Always a bonus.)

For this ratio, I went with Michael Ruhlman's recommended ratio of 2:2:1, which is 2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg.

Projected prep time: 10 minutes; Projected fry time: 2-4 minutes per batch
(Printable Recipe)

1 1/4 oz. (35 g) brown rice flour
1 1/4 oz. (35 g) sweet rice flour
1 1/2 oz. (42 g) tapioca starch
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
4 tbsp. shredded coconut
3 tbsp. sesame seeds
4 oz. (1/2 cup) carbonated water
2 oz. (1 large) egg
Scant 1/8 cup (24 g) pure cane sugar
4-5 green (not ripe) bananas (unless you're lucky enough to come across some green "baby" bananas - use those, and increase amount)
Oil of choice, for frying

Pour oil into skillet or electric skillet to a level deep enough for frying and heat to 350-375 degrees. I played with both temperatures and they both did well. I'm a little more comfortable with 350, so that's what I ended up doing for most of them. It takes a little longer at 350, though.

Line a baking sheet or large plate with several layers of paper towels or brown paper.

Sift flours together with salt and baking powder. Stir in sugar.

Add sesame seeds and coconut to dry ingredients, and stir to combine.

Whisk together egg and carbonated water. This will, obviously, get bubbly.

Slice bananas in half to make slices shorter (unless, as noted above, you're using the "baby" ones), then slice in half lengthwise and again, lengthwise, to make four total slices from each half.

Whisk liquids into dry ingredients.

Dip banana slices one at a time into batter, immersing fully, then place in hot oil. Don't do too many at once. Turn over (using tongs makes this easy) when you begin to see them brown on the underside, and fry until a nice brown color.

Remove from oil and place on paper towels for several seconds, then turn over to absorb more oil from the other side.

Serve warm.


I hope you take some time to check out all the delicious doughnuts and fritters linked up at Meg's post today. My mouth is already watering, and I'm making a list of everything I need to try some of these recipes! Thanks again, Meg!


  1. Oh my, these remind me of the fried bananas my parents used to order at a local Chinese restaurant, except they were coated in a crunchy caramel coating before serving, pure decadence!

  2. Oh my--I love banana anything and these look crazy good. Perhaps even better than a good old-fashioned yeast doughnut! ;)

  3. Jeanette and Britt, Thank you! They are definitely tasty! :)
    Jeanette, crunchy caramel coating? Oh yum!

  4. Love the sesame seeds and coconut in these fritters. Great job!

  5. I've had many many baking wrecks in my kitchen. I completely understand,but those banana fritters were a good save. They look fabulous and are absolutely a great alternative to a yeast donut!

  6. Oh sweetie! Those are absolutely luscious! I had thoughts of doing something similar with my apricots, but opted for otherwise. :) I am planning these for soon. Man!

  7. The fried bananas look amazing - sorry to hear the doughnut attempts didn't work out, but these bananas sound incredible :)

  8. Rachel, thank you!

    Lisa, Yes, it did end up being a good save! And I think that the kitchen wrecks are great learning tools!

    Thank you, Brooke! :)

    Jenn, thank you. It's probably for the best that they didn't turn out!

  9. I applaud you for making something a little different and not giving up! (Because I almost did after a couple of disasters).

    These look delicious!

  10. Mary Fran, thank you! And yours turned out beautifully!

  11. Yum! I think I might have to make these for breakfast! The coconut and sesame is such an interesting combination.

  12. Thank you! And thanks again for hosting us!

  13. So sorry that you had such a hard time with the doughnuts, but I think fried bananas are a great alternative! Especially given your husband's history of wanting them. They sound delicious!

  14. Tara, I think it was supposed to happen that way - this time! Maybe now that I've made the bananas, the doughnuts will work out great next time. :)

  15. I'm glad the doughnut failure led you to create these! I could imagine eating these alongside a thai-iced tea for sure!


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