When I cook Asian food, I like to serve an Asian dessert. My favorite easy choice is Fried Banana Bites. Once you see how it’s done on this video, you won’t need a recipe to make it yourself.
Aside from oil, which most people have on hand, you only need two ingredients: bananas and wonton wrappers. We use wonton wrappers a lot at Special Fork, but rarely to make wontons. Like phyllo, it’s a readymade, neutral dough that works in both savory and sweet applications. We use wonton wrappers for raviolis, as well as appetizer and dessert cups.
To make these banana bites for a dinner party, make the banana packets before the guests arrive, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Do not let moisture get into the packets or the hot oil will spatter when you fry them. When it’s time for dessert, heat the oil and start frying, serving up the bites as they are done. Since it just takes a minute or so for each batch, you won’t be long in the kitchen.
If you’ve never deep fried before, take special care around hot oil. Never leave a heating pot of oil unattended.
Fried Banana Bites
Makes 2 servings
1 small ripe but firm banana
8 wonton wrappers
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Peel banana and cut crosswise in 1 inch segments. You need 4 segments. Cut each segment in half lengthwise so you have 8 pieces.
Take 1 wonton wrapper and lay it on your work surface at an angle, to form a diamond shape. Lay 1 piece of banana in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the bottom of the wonton wrapper over the banana. Fold in the sides and fold the top down to encase the banana completely and form a tight packet. Put the packet, seam-side down, on a dinner plate. Repeat with remaining bananas and wrappers.
In a medium saucepan, add oil to a depth of about 1 ½ inches so the packet will be covered in oil when frying. Heat the oil until it reads 350°F on a candy thermometer. (If you don’t have a candy thermometer, test the temperature by adding a leftover unwrapped wonton wrapper into the oil. The oil should gently bubble around the wrapper and the wrapper should turn golden in about 30 seconds. If it turns dark too quickly, the oil is too hot; if it doesn’t bubble, the oil is not hot enough and the wrappers will absorb too much oil, becoming greasy.)
Place one banana packet, seam-side down, in a small strainer or slotted spoon and lower it into the hot oil. Keep the packet in the strainer and cook for a few seconds to allow the seams to cook and to keep the packet from coming apart. Then drop the packet in the oil completely, sliding out the strainer. Repeat with remaining packets. Cook until the packets are golden brown, about 1 minute. Make sure there is space between the packets as they are frying; cook in batches and do not crowd the pan.
When packets are done, remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
Serve hot, 4 pieces per serving.
Gilding the lily:
- Dust banana bites with powdered sugar
- Drizzle with chocolate or caramel sauce
- Serve with coconut or vanilla ice cream
Note: Oil is very hot so be extremely careful. Do not introduce water into the oil or the oil will pop and splatter. Never leave a heating pot of oil unattended.
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