Monday, March 1, 2010

Candied Banana Fritters


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


5 bananas, firm and not overripe
4 cups oil for deep-frying, or as needed
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 – 6 tablespoons white sesame seeds, according to taste*


Preparing and Deep-frying the bananas:
1. Cut the bananas into 1 1/2 inch lengths (about 5 pieces per banana).
2. Combine the egg and the water, and then stir into the flour to make a batter.
3. Heat the oil for deep-frying to 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a fork to dip each banana slice into the batter, roll it around and coat it with the batter. (If needed, push the banana off the fork with your finger, then use the fork to push the banana around in the batter to recoat it. Respear it with the fork).
4. Carefully add a few slices of battered banana into the hot oil. Deep-fry, until they are golden brown and the batter is crispy (about 3 minutes). Remove the banana slices with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Caramelizing the bananas:
Note: Since the caramelized sugar starts hardening and becomes difficult to work with quite quickly, it’s easiest to caramelize half the bananas at a time:
1. Fill 2 bowls with ice cold water and several ice cubes, and place in the freezer while preparing the sugar syrup.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil on low-medium heat, then add 3/4 cup sugar, stirring constantly until it turns a golden brown (about 5 minutes). Be careful not to burn the sugar. Remove the wok from the heat and stir in half the sesame seeds. Set out the ice bath.
3. Working quickly, use a fork to place a banana slice in the sugar syrup mixture and turn to coat it in the syrup. Place the banana in the ice water for several seconds, until the sugar coating has hardened. Place the banana on a sheet of wax paper. Continue with the remainder of the banana slices. If the syrup starts to cool and harden, heat again on low heat, stirring constantly, until it is liquid.
4. Caramelize the second half of the bananas, repeating steps 2 and 3 and using the second ice bath.
*If you like, feel free to use black sesame seeds, which are thought to help prevent hair from graying.

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