Secrets to Making Perfect Banana Fritters (Pisang Goreng)

Updated on April 15, 2020
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Born and raised in Malaysia, Mazlan is proud of his heritage. In his free time, he likes to tinker around in the kitchen.

Learn the art of making perfect banana fritters!
Learn the art of making perfect banana fritters! | Source

What Are Pisang Goreng?

Pisang goreng, or banana fritters, are a favorite Malaysian teatime snack. Typically sold by street vendors, they are made with bananas that have been coated in batter and deep-fried until crispy and golden. This snack is popular not only in Malaysia but in many other Southeast Asian countries, as well.

Would you like to learn the secret to making perfect pisang goreng? All you need to do is choose the right type of banana, use the right ingredients in the batter, and follow the right deep-frying guidelines. Easy!

But, as with many things, there's a bit more to it than meets the eye.

3.6 stars from 71 ratings of Banana Fritters
Pisang raja is the best variety to use for banana fritters. These came from my garden.
Pisang raja is the best variety to use for banana fritters. These came from my garden. | Source

Secret 1: Choose the Right Banana Variety

Top choice: Pisang raja. At one time, this variety was readily available in Southeast Asian wet markets, but now you have to really shop around.

Runner-up choice: Pisang abu. Common in Southeast Asia. A good alternative if pisang raja isn't available.

Other options:

  • Burro bananas: Sweet and sour taste, similar to pisang nangka.
  • Plantains: Native to West and Central Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, and parts of South America.
  • Indian cooking bananas: Available in Indian grocery stores. Ask for a variety with a sweet flavor that is suitable for frying.

If you live in the UK, Australia, or the United States, you may find these varieties in Asian markets or specialty grocery stores. Ask for cooking bananas.

To learn more about which varieties are suitable for banana fritters, you may be interested in this article: Which Banana Varieties Are Suitable for Banana Fritters?

The Cavendish variety, which is the large yellow variety that you find at most Western supermarkets, is best eaten fresh and is not suitable for banana fritters.

Pisang abu is my second-choice variety for banana fritters.
Pisang abu is my second-choice variety for banana fritters. | Source

Secret 2: Use the Right Batter Ingredients

Perfect banana fritters should be crispy on the outside with tender and moist fruit on the inside. Let's talk about some of the critical components to making the perfect batter for pisang goreng.

  • Ice-cold water: To make the batter crispy and crunchy, it is important to use ice-cold water in the batter mix. Some people even leave the batter in the fridge for an hour before using it, though I'd suggest adding this extra step only if you can spare the time.
  • Cornstarch or corn flour: Using one of these two ingredients helps to boost the crispiness of the cooked fritter. (I used corn flour in my recipe.)
  • Bonus tip: A friend suggested using cold sparkling mineral water or soda water, rather than regular water. The bubbles help minimize oil absorption for a less oily banana fritter.

What not to add: One of my readers suggested adding egg yolk to the batter recipe. I tried this with one medium-sized egg, but it made the batter too thick and heavy. It did not coat the banana evenly, and the resulting fritters were soggy.

Secret 3: Deep-Fry Like a Pro

  • Invest in a deep-fry thermometer: It is important to maintain the correct temperature for the cooking oil. If the temperature dips too low, you will end up with greasy fritters. If it is too hot, the crust will burn before the fritter is properly cooked.
  • Maintain a high temperature: Before you start to deep-fry, make sure the oil has reached 325°F (185°C). Cooking at high heat will minimize oil absorption, hence reducing fat and calories.
  • Use new cooking oil: Always use new, clean cooking oil—not previously used oil. When you fry banana fritters, it is likely that you will see some leftover bits of batter in the oil. Before frying each batch be sure to remove these bits because they will burn, which will give a burnt flavor to the oil.
  • Cut the bananas into similar-sized pieces: For even frying, make sure that the bananas have been cut into similar-sized pieces.
  • Don't overcrowd the oil: For maximum crispiness, the fritters must be submerged and surrounded by hot cooking oil. Do not fry too many bananas at once. This will also reduce the chances of soggy and greasy fritters.
  • Keep them warm: If you don't intend to eat the fritters immediately, keep them warm in an oven that has been heated to 200°F. This will keep them crisp.

My Banana Fritter Recipe

There are many different banana fritter recipes out there. The traditional Malaysian batter recipe calls for only rice flour and a pinch of kapur (slaked lime). As kapur may not be readily available where you live, I have not included this ingredient in my recipe here.

For this article, I have adapted a recipe from Amy Beh, a prominent Malaysian celebrity chef. I have reduced the amount of water slightly, as I prefer a slightly thicker batter. But be careful not to make it too thick; this will lead to a longer cooking time, which will make the banana less moist and juicy.

I hope you enjoy!

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 3.04 fl oz (90ml) ice-cold water
  • 4 to 6 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced in half
  • Cooking oil, for deep-frying

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix the self-raising flour, corn flour, rice flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the ice-cold water and whisk until you get a smooth consistency with no lumps. Be sure to add the water slowly and monitor the consistency, adding more water only if required. The batter should not be too runny or too thick.
  2. Peel and then slice the bananas in half, lengthwise (see photo). Drop the banana slices in the batter. Set aside for about 5 minutes before frying.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan or wok.
  4. When the oil temperature reaches 325°F (185°C), deep-fry the well-coated bananas until they are golden brown. Fry about 3 to 4 pieces at a time. If you overcrowd the oil, the oil temperature will drop.
  5. Transfer the cooked banana fritters onto paper towels to absorb any excess oil. For best flavor, serve immediately.

Warning

Always be careful when cooking with hot oil. You do not want the oil to splash and cause burns.

Photo Guide

Peel and slice the bananas in half, lengthwise.
Peel and slice the bananas in half, lengthwise. | Source
Place the sliced bananas in the batter and leave for about 5 minutes before frying. This allows the baking powder to work its magic and gives you a crispier banana fritter.
Place the sliced bananas in the batter and leave for about 5 minutes before frying. This allows the baking powder to work its magic and gives you a crispier banana fritter. | Source

Serving Suggestions

In Malaysia, banana fritters are typically sold by street vendors. Most people, including myself, just buy them from the vendors and eat them straight.

However, if you order them at restaurants or hotels, this simple, poor man's food will be given a special status with a fancier presentation. They may be served with any of the following additions:

  • Syrup or honey
  • Ice cream (only vanilla)
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Dusted with icing sugar
  • Dusted with cinnamon powder
  • Whipped cream
  • Sprinkled with grated cheese

People from the southern part of Malaysia have a special way of eating banana fritters. They have it with sweet soy sauce. It may sound odd, but it does taste nice. Try it!

Did You Know?

Banana trees bear fruit only once. Once the fruit has been harvested, the tree will die.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 banana fritter
Calories 110
Calories from Fat63
% Daily Value *
Fat 7 g11%
Carbohydrates 11 g4%
Protein 2 g4%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Banana Peels as Fertilizer

Don't throw away the banana peels or skins—they make great fertilizers. The potassium and phosphorus found in bananas are essential macronutrients for plants. I have found that my rose bushes love them, and I have been rewarded with rich colors in my blooms.

When I make fertilizer, I usually blend the banana peels with some water and then water my plants with the mixture. For additional nutrients, you can use the water that was used to clean rice.

Banana Peels and Skin Remedies

Did you know that banana peels may be helpful with certain skin conditions? Here are a few possible benefits:

  • Smooth out wrinkles and improve skin texture and tone
  • Help reduce acne
  • Reduce skin inflammation and even remove warts

Another photo of pisang raja from my garden.
Another photo of pisang raja from my garden. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • When you say corn flour, do you mean corn starch? or corn flour like in Mexico?

    Corn flour is the very finely ground cornmeal, it is not the cornstarch as in the USA. Not sure about corn flour in Mexico, probably same as what we have here. Try this brand: Corn Flour by Brown & Polson

© 2012 Mazlan

Comments

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    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      2 years ago from Malaysia

      Hey koolkit, you are right about the tumeric and if readers are wondering how much to add to the batter, I suggest about a pinch of tumeric is more than enough.

      On the sugar and condense milk dipping, yeah that's awesome and decadent :-)

    • profile image

      koolkit 

      2 years ago

      in some traditional recipe, you could also add some turmeric power to give some 'color' to the batter and a little bit of taste. and don't forget that you could eat it with a little dip in sugar or condensed milk. :D

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      2 years ago from Malaysia

      Nice girl, I have not tried this but you can experiment with batter meant for tempura or fish and chip. Both of these should be easily available at your place?

      Let us know of the outcome pls. Thanks.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      2 years ago from Malaysia

      Nice girl, glutinous rice flour has more starch, is thicker and not suitable as batter.

    • profile image

      nice gurl 

      2 years ago

      can i use glutinous rice flour instead of rice flour?

    • profile image

      STArberry 

      2 years ago

      yes i have problem getting rice flour in my area. can i take away the use of rice flour in the dish?

    • profile image

      strawberry 

      2 years ago

      what type of oil would be the best to use and the healthiest?

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      2 years ago from Malaysia

      STArberry, the rice flour make the batter crispier even when the banana fritter is cold. Do you have problem getting rice flour in your area?

    • profile image

      STArberry 

      2 years ago

      Is it ok if I do not add the rice flour into the batter?

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      2 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi, Mei.

      Thanks. Mushy due to the over-ripe bananas? Which banana variety that you used?

      Yes, it is great on yam and sweet potatoes. By the way, sweet potato is also great if dipped in a very light & watery curry-powder paste. Try it.

    • profile image

      Mei Harris 

      2 years ago

      The batter for this is so crispy......so yummy. However, the bananas was too mushy. In US, maybe plantains would be a better in this. I also fried some sweet potatoes/yams using this batter. So good! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      2 years ago from Malaysia

      Syazwani, the traditional rice flour and kapur recipe is great but this article and recipe is ideal if you don't have access to these ingredients, esp. if you are studying or live abroad (i.e. outside Malaysia)

    • profile image

      Syazwani 

      2 years ago

      How did this recipe fare compared to the traditional rice flour & kapur recipe?

    • profile image

      Diana Abrahamson 

      5 years ago

      Banana fritters are a favorites..making me hungry just looking at these golden delights!

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      5 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi jules uren. Yup, this is delicious. You had also put grated cheese over just cooked banana fritters. Thanks jules for sharing this.

    • profile image

      jules uren 

      5 years ago

      Another way to serve banana fritters is to reduce coconut cream. On stove add palm sugar. Drizzle over just cooked fritters n a side dollop of vanilla ice cream. Yummy.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      5 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi Kristina4goodfood. Yes it is yummy, but greasy! All tasty foods are greasy aren't they? Thanks for dropping by and I hope you will try it out soon.

    • Kristina4goodfood profile image

      Kristina Braaksma 

      5 years ago from Kenosha, WI

      Thee pictures make the food look really yummy! I will be sure to print this and try it here in the States. It's been very helpful, thank you!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      7 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      thanks for the recipe. Could use the batter for sweet potatoes too. Voted up

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      7 years ago from Malaysia

      @ketage, I understand your frustration, but worry not as you can always try your version of goreng pisang in Croatia

      @pinkhawk, thanks for dropping by and commenting. Banana fritters for breakfast, now that sounds interesting!

      @tattuwurn, your version with strips of ripe jack fruit is a variation that I have to try. Thanks for sharing

      @khmazz, thanks for book marking this article. I hope you will share with us your success with this recipe.

      @Vacation Trip, this is a really easy recipe and also easy to make. Try it, you will like it.

    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 

      7 years ago from India

      Great recipe. very easy to make also and looks very delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    • khmazz profile image

      Kristen Mazzola 

      7 years ago from South Florida

      This recipe looks amazing! I booked marked it and am going to try to make it soon!! :)

    • profile image

      tattuwurn 

      7 years ago

      We also have a similar preparation with bananas here in the Philippines (we call them "maruya"). Sometimes we'd add strips of ripe jackfruit. We love those fritters. I haven't tried it rice flour though, this would be a really interesting addition. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • pinkhawk profile image

      pinkhawk 

      7 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

      My mother usually make this for afternoon snack and sometimes in breakfast, ^_^! Yummy... Thanks for sharing! ^_^

    • ketage profile image

      ketage 

      7 years ago from Croatia

      I really miss the goreng pisang from Penang , made with pisang raja, sigh

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      7 years ago from Malaysia

      suechen , I loved fried moon cake with yam. (Not tried with sweet potato yet). Will try your version with the egg white, the next time we fry banana fritter. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      suechen 

      7 years ago

      I tried ur batter recipe to fry Chinese New Year sweet cake (leen guo) with sweet potato and yam. The result was perfect....i put in an egg white for added crispiness. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • rumanasaiyed profile image

      Rumana 

      7 years ago from Sharjah, UAE

      It is so easyy!!! I should try it once

      Voted up Useful

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      @Kim Thanks, I am glad this recipe was of help to you and you had success with it.

    • profile image

      Kim 

      8 years ago

      Very good recipe.. Highly recommended...!

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi teaches12345, thanks for the visit. You should give them a try. I am a bit of a traditionalist and I love banana fritters on its own, otherwise with vanilla ice cream!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      I don't know if we have the red banana variety here in this part of America, but I will look into this option. I have never had banana fritters but they do look very good, and having them with chocolate and cinnamon would be my favorite treat.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi Thelma Alberts, yes there's a lot of similarity in our foods, amongst the ASEAN region. I am sure your country will have a lot more banana food concoctions since the Philippines is a net exporter of bananas.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      8 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      Yummy! I love banana fritters! Your recipe sounds similar to the Filipino banana fritters that I use to make when I am at home. Thanks for sharing.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      iamageniuster, yes you should. Thanks for the visit.

    • iamageniuster profile image

      iamageniuster 

      8 years ago

      I love making food using bananas. Great recipe. Maybe I'll try it out.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks Chris. You should give them a try. Visited your profile; my daughter just completed her degree in psychology. She may want to continue with clinical psychology.

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this great recipe. Voted up and useful!

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi Snurre, thanks for dropping by. Yep, you should give it a try. Have it this Sunday, on Earth Day! Enjoy!

    • Snurre profile image

      Snurre 

      8 years ago

      What an interesting recipe! Will definitely try it one day.

      Voted and SHARED

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      Then you should give it a try, Movie Master. It's really easy. The tough part for you, maybe, is finding the right banana. Don't give up. Thanks for the visit.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      I love banana fritters but have never made them, many thanks for the recipe!

      Voted up

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi Jackie thanks for the visit. Yeap, you should give it a try.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      8 years ago from the beautiful south

      Sounds so good, I will have to try them! Thank you.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi sgbrown, thanks for dropping by. It will be easier if you try the Asian or International market. I was in the Asian part (India and its subcontinent)of Chicago last December and saw a variety that could be use for banana fritters. It was from India and I forgot to ask for the name of this variety. Give it a try to let me know. The same batter can also be use to fry yam which I believe is also easily available in US. Peel the skin and slice the yam in half inch thickness, dip in batter and fry. It's very tasty.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      8 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This sounds wonderful! I love bananas, hopefully I will be able to find the right type of bananas to try this. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Have a great day! :)

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      Nomascus concolor, good to see you here. Yes, I have read that banana fritters are also popular in Africa. We have a few versions of banana fritters and there are similarities in these versions to those in Africa. Not sure who copied who!!

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      jojokaya, thanks for the visit. I am not surprised that banana fritter was your regular afternoon snack, when you were in Malaysia. In fact it is the favourite afternoon snack of all Malaysians!

    • Nomascus concolor profile image

      Nomascus concolor 

      8 years ago from A Country called Earth

      hummmm banana friters! They are very popular in some parts of Africa as well - I just love them! Voted up thanks for sharing

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 

      8 years ago from USA

      Banana fritters, love it. When I lived in Malaysia, its our regular afternoon snack:)

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      dinkan53, yeah that's the problem with good tasty food, there are loaded with cholesterol..just need to go to the gym and burn the fat!!!

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR

      Mazlan 

      8 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi ramurray3, Thank you, I'm glad you will try this one day

    • ramurray3 profile image

      ramurray3 

      8 years ago from New York City

      This sounds really good. I will keep this recipe in mind.

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 

      8 years ago from India

      It is great in taste, but enemy for the diet controllers and those have increased cholesterol levels. Thanks for the recipe.

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