Sunday, October 9, 2011

Turon (deep fried banana roll)- A Popular Street Food Of The Philippines

Turon is one of the most popular desserts of the Philippines found at almost every street-side during both day and night.  While the average American child grows up with banana splits, the average Filipino child grows up with Turon, a crisp deep friend sugar coated piece of plantain wrapped in a spring roll wrapper.

Turon has definitely made my childhood quite memorable and tasty.  Back in the day when mom and grandma came home from grocery shopping, they would always give me their spare change and yes, without fail, I obediently saved that change with one goal in mind: buy Turon from the man with the bike and stove on the street.  Till this day, it still remains a dessert that I spend my change on.  I'm not one to eat many desserts to begin with, but this is one that I indulge in from time to time, no special occasions necessary. 

Simple, yet delicious, Turon will not disappoint you.  This dessert is cheap to make and easy to prepare.

Want to jazz it up a little bit more?  Slap some ice cream (coconut is the best) on top of these bad boys and drizzle a little honey on top (Thai Style). Or try vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.

If you scroll down, you'll find that this recipe calls for ten steps.  Don't be discouraged because they're mostly tips from personal experience.  Once you get the hang of it, making them will be a piece of cake and worth the effort.

*Click HERE for a cooking dictionary.

 Ingredients:
  • Very Ripe Plantains (I get mine at MNIB mini market located at excel plaza in Grand Anse)- 1 plantain makes ~4 rolls (2.10EC/lb)
  • Brown Sugar for coating
  • water
  • spring roll wrappers (found at Foodfair next to Scotia Bank) ~6EC
  • Vegetable oil for frying 
1.  Separate the amount of  spring roll wrappers you intend on using.  Place them on a plate with a damp paper towel on top to prevent them from drying up.
2.  Pour a little sugar in a bowl big enough to fit one plantain slice.
3.  Pour a little water in a bowl for sealing wrapper.
4.  Pour a lot of water in a big bowl (for rinsing fingers). Or you can avoid getting fingers dirty and use two forks or a tong to coat pieces.
5.  Heat a non stick pan with oil enough to cover half of the roll.  Put on lowest flame while you're preparing plantains.
6.  Slice ends of plantains. Peel. Cut each of them 1st lengthwise in half. then cut each half into two pieces. Basically, you will make one plantain into 4 pieces.  I like to further cut the round edges off so that the roll will sit flat in the pan.  With round edges, it will rise higher in the pan and that means you will need more oil. (see picture below).
7.  Take one wrapper and lay on a flat surface.  Place it in front of you so that it looks like a diamond.  Take one slice of plantain, coat it thoroughly in sugar, and place towards the bottom corner of the wrapper.
8. lift bottom corner over slice.  fold in right corner. fold in left corner. make sure your edges are straight (to prevent little pieces from hanging out and burning).  Keep rolling until you reach the last corner.  Before sealing, dip your fingers in a little water and rub on last corner. Repeat.
9. With my stove and pan, the best flame to cook under is the lowest flame.  Your stove and pan can drastically be different from mine so it's best to watch your cooking carefully.  The oil shouldn't smoke at all. To check if the flame is hot enough to cook in, dip one corner of a roll in and if it sizzles, then it's ready.
10. Place as many rolls in the pan carefully.  Cook  one side until light brown.  Flip over and cook other side until light brown.  Place a thin layer of sugar on top of each roll. Immediately flip over and cook until golden brown.  Flip over a couple of times to get a good coating of sugar on both sides.  Make sure your rolls don't burn (bitter).  With tongs, take each out and shake excess oil away.  Place upright in a container (don't line with napkins as rolls will stick).

*Tip: Initially fry with corner facing down to prevent roll from opening.
*Tip: loosely wrap your rolls, leaving 1/8 inch on each side away from wrapper.  This will allow for the whole wrapper to cook evenly (it is important to first finish wrapping everything before frying so you can watch over the rolls).
*Tip: Keep your oil from overheating by not using high heat (to do so will cause sugars to burn before roll is able to cook. if this happens, you will end up having to start over)
*try cooking rolls in 1-2 batches.  After two batches, residual sugars will burn and you will no longer be able to use the oil.  Try scooping out floating leftover sugars in between batches with a spoon.
*You can prepare them ahead of time and freeze them.  To freeze, lay them out in one layer on a sheet, place plastic wrap on top and repeat making more layers on top. When ready to cook, fry them straight out of the freezer.
*click on pictures to enlarge

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