Different Banana Preparations in South East Asia
1. Banana cue:
Banana Cue can be found on every street corner in the Philippines. It is deep fried bananas caramelized with brown sugar. The snack is best eaten right away when hot and the sugar forms a crunchy coating on the outside. Saba bananas are used for banana cue and in many other filipino dishes. The bananas are more square and dense than a conventional banana for eating.
2. Sweet potato and banana fritter:
These fried ‘cakes’ are sold throughout some of Vietnam, especially in Hoi An on the street. They are eaten any time of day and loved by locals and tourists alike. They consist of thinly cut sweet potato and banana slices battered with rice flour. They are then stacked together and deep fried until crispy on the outside and gooey warm banana and potato on the inside.
3. Roasted salty bananas:
In Cambodia the bananas on the street are roasted on an open fire grill until grill marks form on the outside and the inside is dry and more chalky. They are then generously salted. The effect is a strange sweet/salty combination with an unexpected texture! They are served on skewers of 3 or 4 mini bananas.
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4. Grilled banana:
In Bangkok Thailand we enjoyed grilled bananas off the street. They are not as cooked as Cambodia’s and are a pleasant warm gooey banana on the inside and smokey and grilled on the outside.
5. Fire baked banana:
in Chiang Mai, Thailand I scored this banana at the walking street markets. The banana has been cooked in its skin and is completely melted and baked on the inside. It is eaten with a spoon and tastes just like a warm banana pudding served in banana leaves.
6. Banana in coconut milk/banana sticky rice:
bananas are commonly found throughout all of South East Asia in both savoury and sweet dishes. Many asian desserts feature banana either covered in warm sweetened coconut milk or sliced banana served with sweetened sticky rice and coconut sauce.
7. Banana chips:
banana chips can be found absolutely everywhere from the street to local mini marts and are often fried in coconut oil and packaged like a potato chip with salt or sugar.
8. Steamed banana:
I first discovered these in Krabi Town, Thailand. Starchy bananas like the ones used for banana cue are steamed and served almost like a vegetable.
9. Dried banana:
dried bananas are a common snack sold in mini marts in South East Asia. Unlike other dried fruit they usually do not contain sugar (but may contain honey, check the label!)
Bananas can even be found on clothes!