Monday, March 24, 2008


I finally learned how to make Turon - Filipino banana fritters - this weekend. On my trip to the Philippines I totally fell in love with these and my sister-in-law Marie promised to teach me how to make them.

Turon are frighteningly easy to make. You just need lumpia wrappers, brown sugar, jack fruit and the right bananas.

Marie calls the bananas above saba. I guess those are also known as cooking bananas. They aren't plantains but are starchier than our standard Chiquita bananas.

The lumpia wrappers are kind of a cross between a wonton wrapper and a super thin crepe. You buy these in packs of 50 at a well-stocked Asian supermarket. Marie taught me a trick for working with these. First, you take kitchen shears and cut through the sheets to make the edges even. Then divide the stack in half, gently pulling apart the layers. Repeat. If you hit a snag, start separating from the opposite side.

Take slices of saba and roll them in generous amounts of brown sugar. I don't know that you can use too much brown sugar here. Really pack it on there.

Assembly is a snap. Just put the sugared saba on one edge of the lumpia wrapper. Top with a few chunks of jack fruit and roll up like a burrito. Wet the opposite edge slightly to seal.

1 package lumpia wrappers (approximately 50)
12 Saba (cooking bananas)
1 can jack fruit, drained
2 cups or more light brown sugar
50 lumpia wrappers
1/2 gallon vegetable oil for frying

Prep ingredients: Peel saba and slice lengthwise into 2-3 pieces. Cut jack fruit into 1/4 inch strips. Trim and seperate lumpia wrappers.

Prep assembly station: Set up the sliced saba, brown sugar, lumpia wrappers and jack fruit all in a row so you can easily assemble to turon. You'll also need a small bowl of water for sealing the edge.

Roll: Place one lumpia wrapper on the counter. Roll one slice of saba in the brown sugar (gets lots on there!). Place the sugared saba on the lumpia wrapper and top with a few slices of jack fruit. Roll up like a burrito, tucking in the sides. Wet the edge and seal.

Fry: Pour vegetable oil into a skillet until it is about 1/2 inch high. Heat on high heat, until you test one end of a turon and the oil sizzles (not an exact method, so maybe turn the heat down a notch once you get to this point). Add turon to the pan - leaving a little wiggle room between each. Fry for 2-3 minutes and flip, fry 2-3 minutes more. Once the turon are all golden brown, transfer to a papertowel lined baking sheet to cool slightly.

Enjoy: Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

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