The key to crispy pisang goreng lies in the batter. Learn the secret to the perfect batter to recreate this beloved Indonesian fried bananas in your home.
It starts to feel like autumn in Oregon, especially with all the rains we’ve been having almost non-stop for the whole week! My cravings for comfort food grows in exponential proportion, and the saba bananas on my countertop that were intended for banana bread seemed to whisper to me, “turn us into pisang goreng …”
Needless to say, the battle of pisang goreng vs. banana bread didn’t last long, and after a little bit of mixing and deep-frying, I happily stuffed my face with as much pisang goreng as my stomach could handle! After I snapped some photos to share, of course. I’m not THAT barbaric!
What is pisang goreng?
Pisang goreng is basically bananas coated with batter and deep-fried in hot oil. Once deep-fried, the batter turns crispy, while the banana is of course, sweet and tender.
It sounds so easy, because it is, and yet this humble pisang goreng is a masterpiece despite its simplicity. How else can you explain the need for at least one gorengan (deep-fried snacks, bananas are always the star) seller in every street corner across Indonesia, and none of them seems to be lacking for hungry customers?
Honestly, when I was still in Indonesia, there is almost no incentive to learn to make a proper pisang goreng. Whenever the cravings hit, I simply need to step out from the comfort of my home and walk to the nearest gorengan seller. It would be a surprise if anyone needs more than a 15-minutes walk to spot one of these sellers.
This all changes once you live away from Indonesia for a while, and I am sure many of you have pisang goreng cravings that simply must be quenched! So read on, my dear readers. :)
Which bananas should I use to make pisang goreng?
There are several varieties of bananas (and plantains) that are suitable to prepare pisang goreng. The more popular ones include:
- raja/radja bananas (Indonesian: pisang raja)
- saba bananas (Indonesian: pisang kepok)
- plantains (Indonesian: pisang tanduk)
So far, I have only seen saba bananas and plantains in the US. Your best bet to score some saba bananas is through your local Asian market. Plantains are more readily available even in regular stores.
Personally, I prefer raja bananas > saba bananas > plantains, but since I haven’t been able to find any raja bananas yet, I have been making pisang goreng with saba bananas.
Regardless of the variety, it is imperative that you must wait until the bananas/plantains are ripe. This means the skins should be yellow and have dark spots. Be patient and wait for a few days if your bananas/plantains are still green.
The all-important batter for crispy pisang goreng
The secret to the crispiest pisang goreng lies in the batter. After many frustrating trials and errors, I am quite happy with this incarnation.
THIS is the batter that finally can make my pisang goreng stays crispy for at least 1 hour, I think it is safe to say they should stay crispy for up to 2 hours!
Unless you somehow need your pisang goreng to stay crispy for more than 2 hours, but why would anyone need that?
Pisang goreng is like french fries, they taste amazing while piping hot, not so when it’s cold and uh, soggy. So ideally, one should consume pisang goreng under 30 minutes, exactly like french fries, or you know, other deep-fried food in general.
My crispy pisang goreng batter
You will need the following ingredients to make the pisang goreng batter:
- rice flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- turmeric powder (optional)
Simply follow my recipe, and I am quite confident your pisang goreng cravings will be cured. Enjoy!
Pisang Goreng - Indonesian Fried Banana
- 8 ripe saba bananas (or 4 ripe plantains, cut each plantain into 2 to get 8 pieces total)
- oil for deep frying
- Pisang goreng batter
- 100 gram rice flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
- 1/2 cup water
- Heat enough oil in a pot for deep frying, make sure there are at least 2 inches of oil, preferably 3 inches.
- Meanwhile, peel all the bananas. Optionally, make three slits along its length, but keep the bottom 1 inch intact, so the bananas can be opened up like a fan.
- Whisk together all pisang goreng batter in a mixing bowl.
- Once the oil is hot, scoop 1 tablespoon of hot oil and add to the batter, whisk again. (*)
- Coat the bananas with batter and deep-fry until golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. At around 2 minutes into frying, drop batter in drips into the hot oil to make plenty of batter droplets, then quickly coat the bananas with the resulting crispy bits. This creates an additional layer to ensure your resulting pisang goreng stays crispy for longer.
- Remove bananas and drain on a wire rack to remove excess oil. Pisang goreng is best when served immediately.
- (*) If you have bamboo chopsticks, you can tell that the oil is ready once there are bubbles around a bamboo chopstick that are lowered in the hot oil.