Banana fritter or fried banana (Chuoi chien) has always been one of my many childhood favorite snacks. It reminds me of my childhood growing up in Vietnam where simple, inexpensive snacks like this tastes so divined. I remember these snacks`were sold ubiquitously everywhere, in the alley around the neighborhood, at an outdoor market or on the curbside in front of many schools.
The steamy, hot fried banana fresh out of the oil quickly wrapped in banana leave was something that always put a big smile on my face. The crunchiness of the outside fritter complements perfectly the sweet and soft banana inside. Along with these banana fritters, sweet potato fritters were also popular among the kids. The same batter can also be used to make these sweet potato fritters, just substitute sweet potato yam for bananas. The secret to the long lasting crunchiness lies in the double deep frying method where the banana fritter is fried to merely brown, then dipped in the batter and re-fried again until golden brown or to the desired crunchiness. Try it and you won't be disappointed!
1. 1 bag of tempura mix, Pyramid brand or any brands you can find (about 12 oz)
2. 2 tbsp of coconut cream powder
3. 4 tbsp of Crisp fried powder mix (bot chien gion as seen in the picture below)
4. 8-10 tbsp sugar (depend on how sweet you want your batter is)
5. 1 tsp salt
6. 1 & 3/4 cups of water
7. 3-4 tbsp coconut milk (see picture below)
8. 1 tbsp oil and enough for deep frying
9. 14-16 Thai bananas (Chuoi su)
Mix all ingredients except for bananas in a large mixing bowl until smooth and no lumps left in the batter (the batter should be a little bit thinner than the pancake batter).
Peel the bananas and place them covered inside a plastic wrap, make sure to leave enough rooms between each banana.
Use a chopping knife with thick, large blade to press on those bananas until flatten (about 1/4 of an inch thickness).
In a deep frying wok, add a few inches of oil under medium heat. Heat the oil until about 350F or until a drop of tested batter floats up in the oil.
Place the flatten bananas inside the batter mixture and cover the bananas with the batter. Drain the excess batter on the bananas and carefully place them in the hot oil.
Fry the bananas until merely brown then remove from the oil, drain on a rack for a minute. Subsequently, dip the battered bananas in the batter mixture again, drain the excess batter and deep fry until golden brown.
Remove from oil, drain on the rack and serve hot.
They are great eaten as is or can also be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to create a delightful after-dinner-dessert.