"This reminds me very much of a Malaysian goreng pisang – a street snack of banana that's battered and deep-fried. Imagine the oozy sweetness of banana and butterscotch coming from beneath layers of crispy skin, shattering with every mouthful. Very yummy indeed." Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co.
- 5 just-ripe lady’s finger bananas, peeled
- 1 tsp (heaped) plain flour
- 1 packet large spring roll wrappers, 20 x 20 cm, thawed
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- 4 cups (1 litre) vegetable oil
- cream, to serve
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 100 g unsalted butter
- ½ cup (125 ml) cream
- generous pinch of salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the butterscotch sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir briefly to ensure the sugar is dissolved and set aside until required.
To prepare the bananas, cut each banana into 8 batons. In a small bowl, mix the flour with enough water to form a sticky paste.
To wrap, peel off 1 spring roll wrapper and lay it in front of you so a corner points north. Position 2 banana batons horizontally just under the centre line, then sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon over the top. Take the bottom corner of the wrapper and tuck it snugly over the banana batons. Fold both sides inwards to enclose the sides, then roll into a sausage, using the flour paste to secure the last corner of the skin in place. Repeat until all the bananas are used.
To fry, heat the oil in a medium-large pot over medium heat. To test if the oil is ready, immerse a pair of chopsticks in the oil so the tips touch the bottom of the saucepan. If a flurry of bubbles appears, the oil is ready. The best way to test is with a sacrificial spring roll. There is no danger of undercooking the filling but if you don't cook the spring rolls enough the inner layers won't crisp up completely. Cook in batches of 4 or 5 for about 1 minute, turning so they colour evenly. Once they are a lovely golden brown all over, scoop up with a Chinese spider and lean them vertically in a colander lined with several layers of paper towel to drain. Serve with the butterscotch sauce and lashings of cream if you want additional happiness.
• I’ve found using regular bananas problematic because they are higher in moisture content. This tends to make the spring rolls burst on frying, but if you don’t mind a few dark specks floating around in the cooking oil, this won’t be a problem. It’s mainly a visual, not flavour, problem.
Photograph by Randy Larcombe Photography.
Reproduced with permission from the book Same Same But Different by Poh Ling Yeow, published by ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers Australia, 2014.