Tons of cultures have some version of fried bananas and plantains, but Pisang Goreng from Indonesia is something next level. The special thing about the recipe is that the bananas are coated in a thin starchy batter. The lightly sweet and salty batter helps the outside develop a super thin crispy shell, and then the banana inside becomes as creamy and tender as you can dream of.
If you are new to my blog, you might not know I am well-known for making fried vegan desserts. My apple cider donuts have been featured in the New York Times, and my apple fritters and vanilla bourbon creme brûlée donuts have won multiple awards. So you are in good hands when it comes to learning how to successfully make a fried dessert.
By the end of this little cooking adventure, you’ll have a plate of these delectable fried bananas that will rival the best you’ve ever tasted. Let’s get started!
🥰Why you are going to adore the ever-loving heck outta this recipe
✊Vegan AF: Like all of my recipes, this is 100% plant-based. It also happens to be completely gluten-free!
🍌 Perfectly Ripe Bananas: The key to success is using medium-ripe bananas. Their natural sweetness and texture take this recipe to the next level. Yes, they are deep fried, but yeah, this is what banana heaven tastes like! If you have just slightly ripe 'naners (barely out of the green stage), make Kem Chuoi instead.
✅ Tested and Approved Worldwide: Like all of my Malaysian and Indonesian recipes, not only have I extensively tweaked this recipe to perfection, but it has also been tested and approved by a team of dedicated recipe testers in kitchens all around the globe. It works really well, and people love it!
🍌Notable ingredients and substitutions
Palm Sugar (Gula Aren)
This natural sweetener hailing from Southeast Asia adds a rich caramel-like flavor to everything from savory dishes like asisnan sayur and sambal matah, to desserts like buber sumsum and kuih dadar. It’s less refined than white sugar, maintaining a hint of molasses, and is rich in essential minerals. You can also use coconut sugar or brown sugar in its place.
Rice Flour (Tepung Beras)
Tapioca Starch (Tepung Kanji)
This ingredient, widely used in Asian cuisine, enhances the crispiness of the batter. It is essential for making desserts like klepon and the jellies in bubur cha cha. Tapioca starch is known for its ability to create a light, airy coating. It’s also gluten-free. Cornstarch or arrowroot can be used in place of tapioca.
Medium Ripe Bananas
Use medium-ripe bananas with a touch of green at the tips. They offer the ideal balance of sweetness and firmness. When they are cooked, they will become sweeter and more tender. Overripe bananas can make the batter too wet and the texture mushy, but they are PERFECT for making cekodok pisang (banana donuts).
Yeah, I know. You have probably heard of this stuff. But here, I want to make sure you use ice cold water, which will help the shell become extra crispy.
I mean look at how these are coated:
Can you see the golden crispy shell and tender fluffy insides?
OK. Now that it's all up in your business, can you see how these are something crazy-super-special, not just a plain boring ol' fried-up banana?
*See the recipe card at the bottom of the page for exact quantities, nutritional info, and detailed cooking directions.
☕️ That palm syrup drizzzzz
Make the palm sugar syrup used in my biji salak recipe and drizzle these babies up in that golden nectar!
🍨Pisang Goreng Sundae
Transform your Pisang Goreng into a dessert worthy of a special occasion. Serve it warm with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream and drizzle with a luscious caramel sauce.
📖 How to make perfect pisang goreng
Nail these banana fritters on your first shot by following these step-by-step instructions with important tips. Or you can follow along with the easy-to-print recipe card towards the bottom of this page.
Mix Dry Ingredients:
In a mixing bowl, use a whisk to mix together rice flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, your choice of palm sugar, coconut sugar, or brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.
Create Smooth Batter:
Slowly pour ice-cold water into the dry mixture while stirring continuously. Your goal is to achieve a silky-smooth, thin batter.
Heat Oil for Frying:
In a frying pan or Dutch oven, heat cooking oil to a depth of about two inches (5cm) over medium heat. If you have a frying thermometer, you are looking for a temperature between 350-355°F (177-179°C).
Prep the Bananas:
While the oil is warming up, peel and slice your medium-ripe bananas into generously sized, bite-friendly pieces. I like to cut mine on a bias so they are longer and easier to handle, but you can also cut them in regular slices without an angle.
Coat with Batter:
When the oil is hot, one by one, dip each banana slice into the prepared batter, ensuring an even coating all around.
Let's go swimming:
Drip the banana slices off and gently place the battered banana slices into the hot oil, one at a time, avoiding overcrowding. This is crucial because the starchy batter can make the pieces stick together if they touch while they cook.
Golden Brown Fry:
Fry the banana slices until they achieve a golden brown hue, which should take approximately 3-4 minutes.
Drain and Serve:
Remove the crispy pisang goreng from the hot oil using a slotted spoon and let them rest on a wire rack to drain any excess oil. Serve while still warm.
These make a great dessert after a heavy meal, because they are wheat-free and a little less indulgent than other Indonesian and Malaysian desserts like martabak.
If you’re in the mood for something noodle-based, Pisang Goreng makes an excellent dessert to complement dishes like Bami Goreng, Ketoprak, Mee Rebus, Mie Goreng, Pad Woon Sen, or Mi Xao Xi Dau. They are even great after Vietnamese dishes like rice paper salad and steamed vegetable bao.
- Banana Selection: Choose medium-ripe bananas. They should have a touch of green at the tips but still mostly yellow. Overripe bananas can sorta fall apart, and become a little too mushy when fried.
- Consistent Batter: Ensure your batter is smooth and consistent. Gradually add ice-cold water while stirring to prevent lumps. The batter should be just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Proper Oil Temperature: Maintain the oil temperature around 350-355°F (177-179°C). Too hot, and the fritters may brown too quickly; too cold, and they can absorb too much oil. Get yourself a frying thermometer already!
- This is the most important thing: When frying, don’t overcrowd the pan. The starchy batter will cause the bananas to stick together if they are touching. Place the battered banana slices in the hot oil one at a time, ensuring they have enough space to fry evenly.
- Use a dutch oven, pot with tall sides, or a deep fryer to limit splatter and mess.
Absolutely! While medium-ripe bananas work best, you can use plantains too.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours. They are best eaten hot when first made though.
It’s best not to reuse frying oil too many times for health reasons (heat causes fat to oxidize). But you can strain the oil through a fine mesh strainer and then use it for making things like vegan fried chicken, crispy onion bhaji, and Turkish shakshuka.
Absolutely. Just make sure to drip the pieces off well before you place them into your air fryer, which should be sprayed generously with cooking oil spray. Make sure to leave a little space between the banana pieces so they don’t stick together.
✌️My faves to serve with these fried bananas:
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Pisang Goreng Recipe
- In a mixing bowl, combine the rice flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, palm sugar (or coconut sugar, or brown sugar), and salt. Mix these dry ingredients until well incorporated.
- Slowly pour the ice-cold water into the dry mixture. Stir thoroughly to create a smooth batter.
- In a frying pan or Dutch oven, heat cooking oil to a depth of two inches (5cm) for frying over medium heat.
- While the oil is heating, peel and slice the medium-ripe bananas into large bite-size pieces.
- Dip each banana slice into the prepared batter, ensuring they are evenly coated.
- Once the oil is 350-355°F (177-179°C), carefully place the battered banana slices into the hot oil, one at a time, without overcrowding the pan.
- Fry the banana slices until they turn golden brown, which should take 3-4 minutes.
- Once crispy golden brown, remove the pisang goreng using a slotted spoon and place them on a wire rack to drain any excess oil.