Skill level

Average: 3.3 (10 votes)


  • 10 almost-ripe gluay nam wah bananas (see Note) or small lady finger bananas, unpeeled
  • 2 x 560 ml cans coconut cream
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 pandan leaf (see Note), knotted (optional)
  • toasted sesame seeds, to serve

Cook's notes

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.


The ripeness of the bananas is crucial for this recipe. Ideally, they should be almost ripe; too under-ripe and they can be too starchy and coarse; too ripe and they will disintegrate into the coconut milk.

Place bananas in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes or until softened and skins darken. Drain, and reserve pan. Refresh bananas in a bowl of iced water, then peel. Halve bananas lengthwise, or quarter if large. Set aside.

Place coconut cream, sugar, 1 tsp salt and pandan leaf into the reserved saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add bananas and cook for 3 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat and discard pandan leaf. Cool mixture slightly.

Serve bananas with coconut cream sauce sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.


• Available from Asian food shops.


Photography by Brett Stevens and Katie Kaars.