I may never complete the list of what we can create with bananas! Besides those traditional creations that I used to know, to love in my childhood, these days people keep creating new recipes with this super popular tropical fruit in Asia.
Banana to Vietnamese is exactly the same as Apple to Westerners, we can have banana every day, we easily find banana everywhere – in the big city or small town, every corner, every street, either on simple stall-cart or right on the sidewalk!
Within this post, I just want to share banana as one of the most popular street foods in Vietnam, especially in the South, in my hometown – Saigon!
Chè chuối chưng – easy to find this kind of sweet soup with banana, coconut milk, tapioca pearl, cassava…in many traditional markets! Easy to prepare it at home for group of friends or family gathering, similarly we have “chuối xào dừa” (cooked unripe banana, served with coconut sauce, topped with roasted peanut, to be honest I didn’t see this yummy dish for long!
or we have a kind mixture banana with some flour, steamed and served with coconut sauce, topped with roasted sesame…another popular street food in Saigon, easy to find in many traditional markets at the food & beverage section or right on the street, at some corner.
Banana cake this cake reminds me very much another cake in France – Diplomate’s pudding made of brioche leftover, then mixed with milk, eggs, fruit confits…This banana cake is made of leftover either of milk sandwich or baguette, mixed with milk, condensed milk and baked for at least one hour to get the beautiful yellow-red color.
But most famous, especially recently, not only in Saigon, but also in the region as it has been introduced to our neighboring countries during the International street food festival in Singapore some years ago, it’s a banana covered in sticky rice with shredded coconut, wrapped in banana leaves and grilled on charcoal.
There is one more also grilled banana, but it’s quite different, without any wrapping just unripe banana – grilled and served with greased green onion and coconut sauce!
Deep fried banana my childhood favorite snack and it’s still very popular these days, easy to find it in the market, on the street, and next to it – deep fried sweet potatoes or deep fried spicy tapioca cakes. Not easy to make a good deep fried banana. The key success is the mixture of flours to cover the banana! I have no recipe and I’m sure there is some “secrets’ the vendor never share with us!
Banana ice cream – is recently new, I don’t know when people come up with the idea to flatten the banana, cover it with coconut sauce, some roasted peanut…froze it until next day et voilà we have a yummy banana ice cream!
It’s super simple – just cook and eat! No any other ingredients added! Very healthy – chuối luộc, i.e cooked banana! Not every banana can be cooked like this, it should be a special kind of banana – chuối sáp (wax banana!?), it has a chewy, slightly hard texture, very nice yellow color when cooked!
Banana paper (!?) like rice paper, we have several kinds of “paper” made of banana, but most popular is the above photo. It’s grilled on charcoal and just eat it, it’s a bit sweet, chewy and dry as paper! Good as snack after the afternoon nap or for the white collar people, during the office hours!
The list can be continued with many more items made of banana like banana candy, dried banana, my favorite pumpkin soup with banana, banana wine, fried banana ice cream…and can’t be good enough without this traditional sticky rice cake filled with banana, very in Mekong Delta!
P.S: This’s the re-post from my previous blog “Vietstreetfood” with some updates.