Today I simply want to focus on the banana. Did you know that the Philippines has over 100 species of bananas? According to Pepper, the most commonly found banana in the Philippines are Lakatan and Saba. Not only has it grown to be one of the main exports of the Filipinos, but the fruit is also a household favorite in all parts of the globe. The banana is cheap, it keeps well, it’s packed with nutrition and it tastes so good!
This yellow fellow has many varieties and uses. While its good on its own, the fruit is also used in many traditional dishes sweet or savory. I’ve had bananas in traditional Filipino stews, and the banana leaf has been used as a wrap for fish to steam in. Other fun uses for bananas: the leaf can be used as a large “plate” for a Filipino feast where Filipinos would traditionally share the meal and eat with their bare hands; or ever try banana ketchup spaghetti? If you haven’t go to your nearest Jollybee right now.
Banana leaf fibers have also been used in furniture-making and cloth-making. True story, I once did a fashion show and I got to wear a garment made out of the fibers of banana leaf.
This is me wearing Filipino Hawaiian designer, Iris Viacrusis, in a modern Maria Clara made with banana leaf over a recycled vintage silk Kimono.
Yup that’s a birds of paradise on my head. Isn’t learning about bananas fun? Bananas are aPEELing…
Don’t be fooled by the browning exterior, peel a banana open and it reveals a beautiful light yellow center. Don’t throw away the black or bruised banana-what a waste! A ripened banana can be frozen later if you want to make smoothies with it or bake it into a bread. Just make sure to peel it and slice it first before storing it in a container in the freezer.
A banana is rich in potassium, Vitamin C and B6, magnesium, and is naturally fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free. So go ahead and go bananas for bananas!
Without further ado, here’s my take on the turon:
Jen Olaya’s Sweet + Crispy Turon Recipe
Traditional Filipino Banana deep fried egg roll
You will need:
4 ripe bananas of any kind
1 squeeze of 1/2 a lemon
1 pack of 16-20 egg roll wrappers
1/2 to 1 cup of any sugar
2 tbsp of oil
Peel the bananas and cut each banana into 4 halves.
In a large bowl, toss the bananas in sugar and lemon juice.
Place the banana in the middle of one wrap, horizontally.
Roll the banana into an envelope, using the egg to seal. (I posted a recent video on my Instagram doing turon envelopes.) This can be tricky, you have 4 extra wrappers to make mistakes! :)
Put the rolls in the freezer for 20 minutes. If you skip this step, the envelopes may fall apart in the deep fryer—and it makes the turon more crisp.
Heat up a pan in medium heat with oil.
Drop a few rolls in and fry until brown and crispy. Be careful not to burn yourself or the turon! I actually prefer my turon a little black…no joke.
Let turon drain, in a strainer or on a paper towel and let cool for 5 minutes before eating. Enjoy by itself or with a scoop of ube ice cream.