Wherever you go in Vietnam, you will find
fried bananas. They are eaten hot, straight from the pan, as a quick and
tasty sweet snack. More elaborately, they might be combined with one of
the lovely French-style ice creams, such as creamy, pandanus-flavored kem,
which is rather like vanilla ice-cream, or toasted coconut kem. The
Vietnamese are fortunate enough to have a number of different types of
banana to choose from, and the local beer makes the tastiest batter for
coating the fruit.
For the batter
Ripe but firm sweet bananas
Vegetable oil, for deep frying, add more if required
Caster (superfine) sugar, for sprinkling
Plain (all-purpose) flour
Caster (superfine) sugar
To make the batter, sift the flour with
the baking powder into a bowl.
Add the sugar and beat in a little of the
water and beer to make a smooth paste.
Gradually beat in the rest of the water
and beer to form a thick batter. Leave to stand for 20 minutes.
Peel the bananas and cut them in half
crossways and in half again, lengthways. Pour enough oil for deep frying
into a wok or a heavy, shallow pan.
Cook the bananas in batches, so they don't
stick together in the pan.
Dip each one into the batter, making sure
it is well coated, and slip it into the hot oil.
Use tongs or chopsticks for turning and
make sure each piece is nicely crisp and golden all over.
Drain the fried bananas on kitchen paper
and sprinkle them with sugar.