Wok Dessert: Malaysian Banana Fritters (Updated)

For all dessert lovers out there, you’re in luck, I’m going to share my mom’s yummiest, easiest Malaysian banana fritters!  If you love bananas, this is a dessert that will top any banana dessert you’ve ever eaten! I’m constantly asked if desserts can be made in our cast iron woks?  YES, it’s a perfect wok dessert!  A wok is a superb vessel for deep frying whether it’s for savory dishes or sweet desserts.  These banana fritters are very light, slightly crispy outside and inside is bananery, creamy and squishy, just how I like it, ummm.

WokStar-banana-fritters-icecream-tablesetting
I’m not a dessert maker and hopeless at baking, my husband begs me to stay away from it because it’s scientific and to stick with cooking cause it’s creative and forgiving!  Fortunately, these banana fritters don’t even need measuring or a ‘recipe’, nothing scientific, all by adjusting consistency, my kind of dessert!  I’ve made it many times and always turn out yummy whether I’ve used all purpose flour or whole wheat flour.  Beware, they are quite filling and so addictive. It’s not like you’re going to make this often, so enjoy them.

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Yes, that’s my mom and me when I was very, very little.

In Malaysia, it’s called Kuih Kodok because of the “toad like” odd shapes when deep fried but I’ve never heard my mom call it that, pisang goreng is what I remember her calling it. I looked it up, we don’t have that type of banana nor do we slice the bananas length ways and deep fry them with a light batter.  I’ve always seen mom make the batter mixed with mashed bananas so you get banana in every bite, so I guess we shouldn’t call them pisang goreng but I don’t like the other name, so I’ll stick with banana fritters.

Growing up, my mom had to make enough to feed 7 of us. It was always a lot of fun to cook with my mom and sisters, lots of laughter and silliness, just what cooking is all about.  She gave us each a task, so it was quick to put together. We’d all crowd round to watch mom deep fry, so exciting to see the blobs of fritters bobbing in the oil. I miss you mom and think you’d be proud of me getting these fritters down!

The wide opening and the shape of the wok is ideal for deep frying as well as many other styles of cooking. Don’t be put off by “deep frying”, it’s not bad for you. It’s only bad if you use oil that can’t withstand high heat or if the oil is absorbed into the food. I’ll show you how to avoid both in the notes below. Deep frying is actually a wonderful way to cook food so they’re crispy outside and the inside is very moist.  This is the method Asian restaurants use and it’s a very fast way to cook, except they reuse oil way too many times and that’s bad.

As with any of my dishes, I don’t provide exact measurements because that’s how I cook, by adjusting the consistency, texture and flavors to suit my taste buds. The fastest way I learn is when I know why things happen, so I hope you do too. There’s a little bit of explanation below but I think when you understand, it’ll become very easy.

I’d love to hear how your banana fritters turned out and what you like to eat them with, email me some photos.

ENJOY, I know you and your friends will get hooked like we did!

How to make Mom Hoh’s delish Malaysian Banana Fritters…
Feeds 4 unless you’re a piggy!

Notes:
Consistency of banana mix…
Adjust with coconut milk and wholewheat flour till you can drop a spoonful of mixture easily. If too watery, add a little more flour. Definitely not too doughy, otherwise it becomes tough and chewy

About the oil…
– use oil that can withstand high heat like canola or grapeseed oil
– you don’t need to fill the wok even half way up, see photo
– It’s important for oil to be hot, otherwise fritters will be greasy and not crispy golden. (It’s the same concept for stir frying veggies.)
– to test if oil is hot enough, place a single chopstick right in the middle of the oil till you reach the bottom of the wok. When bubbles form, it means oil is hot enough.
– after you’re done deep frying, wait for oil to cool completely and pour into a glass jar through a paper towel to strain any bits out. You can reuse this oil again for another fry as long as it’s still light in color.
– never throw oil down the drain, it will clog your drains. Put in a disposable plastic container with lid and throw in the trash.

WokStar-Malaysian-BananaFrittersDon’t crowd the fritters…
– use tablespoon to drop one dollop of banana mix into hot oil
– only add in 4 -5 dollops in one batch
– give them room to cook so they don’t join up.
– only flip them once as they turn golden
– as soon as they turn golden, lift out since they continue cooking, get burned and become bitter.
– use slotted spoon to lift out and drain on rack or on paper lined plate and another paper towel to keep them warm.

Best pairings with banana fritters…
Do this before you start deep frying…
– put a scoop of coconut or vanilla ice cream on 4 plates (So Delicious brand, it’s made out of coconut milk, it’s healthier.)
– add handful of fresh strawberries for some color (I know I didn’t in this post but would be good!)
– a few nuts for texture, notice my sister sprinkled sesame seeds on our coconut ice cream, and was delish

WokStar-banana-fritters-prep2Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas (if using small sugar bananas, use 4)
1 cup King Arthur wholewheat flour
coconut milk (So Delicious brand) or Almond Breeze unsweetened
1 egg

For deep frying…
Grapeseed or canola oil
wooden chopstick to test oil
big slotted stainless spoon OR wood chopsticks to lift out fritters
tablespoon for scooping banana mixture into oil
stainless steel rack or plate lined with paper towel

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Method, important to do in this order…
1. In a big bowl, mash bananas with a fork, break egg in and fold in
2. add wholewheat flour a spoonful at a time till you can drop a spoonful of mixture easily from a spoon
add milk in if it gets too thick and adjust till the consistency is right
3. heat oil in wok and do the chopstick oil test, see note above.
4. work quickly – use tablespoon to scoop mixture and gently drop into oil. Only drop about 4-5 blobs into the oil in one batch.
5. As soon as they turn color, turn over. Use slotted spoon and take them out to drain on rack or on paper lined plate and cover over.
6. Quickly work through the bowl of mashed banana mix.
Remove all paper from plate before serving.

WokStar-banana-fritters-icecream-closeupWokStar-Malaysian-Banana-fritters-coconut-icecream

Enjoy your banana fritters and thank my mom for this addictive and yummy banana fritters.

If you want to do a complete Malaysian evening, try these dishes my mom also taught my sisters and I to make…
Char Kuey Teow (I’ve never made this, my sister did it, I just blogged about it)

Malaysian Chicken Curry

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