The contrasting textures are sublime, with the soft banana, crispy batter, refreshing ice cream and sweet salted caramel all coming together in the perfect mouthful. What’s not to love?!
- 4 bananas
- 2 litres (2 qts) vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- vanilla ice cream, to serve
- shredded coconut, to serve
Salted caramel (to serve)
- 220 g (8 oz/1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 90 g (3 oz) butter
- 140 ml (4½ fl oz) cream
- 1½ tbsp sea salt
- 150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 90 g (3 oz) rice flour
- 15 g (½ oz/¼ cup) shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
- pinch of salt
- 375 ml (12½ fl oz/1½ cups) soda water (club soda)
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
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.
1. Whisk the batter ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Set aside to rest for 20–30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the salted caramel. Place the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has melted. As soon as the sugar has liquefied, stop stirring, as this will agitate it and cause the caramel to crystallise. Continue to cook until the sugar turns a deep caramel colour. Slowly whisk in the butter, followed by the cream, then remove from the heat and stir in the salt.
3. Peel the bananas and cut in half lengthways. Working with one half at a time, place a banana half between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently flatten the banana with the palm of your hand into a disc shape.
4. Dip the flattened banana halves in the batter, until thoroughly coated.
5. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium–high heat to 180°C (350°F) on a kitchen thermometer. Working in batches, deep-fry the bananas, turning every now and then, for 3–4 minutes until golden brown.
6. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a good drizzle of salted caramel and a sprinkling of shredded coconut.
Recipe from Street Food Vietnam by Jerry Mai, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99