First up in Cooking Without a Kitchen, an easy recipe for one of the most amazing snacks you’ll ever eat: fried bananas!
When you’re cooking without a kitchen, the first thing you need to become accustomed to is working with the tools at your disposal.
For me, this means an induction cooker, aka electric hot plate. I hate it. I have always hated electric stoves, and this thing is worse than anything I’ve previously encountered; it gets super hot almost instantly, so if you’re trying to stir fry anything it immediately burns. Sauces simply evaporate to smoke. Meat is blackened and raw at the same time. It’s actually a bonus of this apartment that there isn’t a smoke detector, because all of our neighbors would hate me by now.
After a few failed attempts at making real meals (and I’m a pretty good cook, if I do say so myself), I realized that the only use I could think of for this POS machine was as a deep frier. I LOVE fried plantains, and at home when I have an oven I frequently bake bananas with connamon and honey for dessert. Since I don’t have an oven, I decided swapping the plantains for the local Thai bananas (which are small, starchy, and sweet, similar to a plantain) would be a good first project.
Red and green bananas are readily available at the organic market across the street, for something like 50 cents for a giant bunch. I used green bananas here, but either will do. You’ll notice that the peels were nearly black – bananas don’t last long thanks to the humidity and heat this time of year, but despite the appearance the fruit is still perfectly fine to eat. Since they are compact and starchy, they take well to frying and are delicious with a range of toppings – everything from sour cream to raspberry jam. From start to finish, this recipe takes about 10 minutes.
What you’ll need:
- A pan at least 3 inches deep
- A fork or tongs
- Oil to fry with (I used sunflower, which is cheap and available everywhere, but coconut oil could also be used and would probably add some nice flavor to the dish)
- Whatever dipping sauce you’d like. We ate these with raspberry jam and honey, and they were AMAZING.
First, you’ll want to peel and slice the bananas diagonally into pieces about 1/2 inch to an inch thick.
Next, pour about an inch and a half of oil into your pan. It should be deep enough to just cover the banana pieces and allow them to float a little above the bottom of the pan.
Turn on your cooktop. I set mine to 1800 (on what scale, I have no clue), and it gets to temperature in about 45 seconds. If you’re lucky enough to be using a gas stove or an actual deep frier, you may want to get this process started while you’re slicing the bananas.
Carefully drop the bananas into the oil. If the oil is hot enough, it will immediately start to bubble around the banana. Continue until the pan is full.
Using a fork, flip the banana pieces when they start to brown. The darker they get, the more carmel-y the outsides will be. Kyle likes his practically burned, but I prefer mine a little lighter.
When the bananas are done, remove them from the oil and either set them to drain on a metal rack or on a plate lined with paper towels to get the grease off. WARNING – don’t let the bananas sit on the paper towel too long, or they will stick to it and you’ll wind up peeling bits of paper off as you eat. It won’t kill you, but it will detract from the whole experience of shoving things in your mouth.
MMMMMM SO DELICIOUS.