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Minatamis na Saba (Filipino Bananas in Syrup)

Minatamis na Saging

Minatamis na Saging

Matamis na Saging na Saba (Sweetened Fillipino Plantains)

This is one of my favorite childhood desserts while growing up in the Philippines. Saba, also known as cardaba in English, is the most common type of plantain found in the Philippines. It is usually cooked and used in a variety of local dishes and desserts. Since this type of plantain is abundant, it's no surprise that many desserts use it.

Minatamis or matamis is the Filipino word for sweetened. So this dessert is made by cooking the saba in sugar and water. It's served as a dessert but can also be eaten as a snack.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

7 min

25 min

32 min

5 servings


  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 5 saba plantains, cut crosswise to 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Combine all ingredients, except the saba plantains, in a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat to simmer for about 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens to a syrup.
  3. Add the plantains and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until tender. Serve hot.


  • Use white sugar instead of brown sugar.
  • Add other ingredients desired, such as tapioca pearls.
  • Add flavorings such as vanilla.
  • Slice the saba plantains lengthwise instead of crosswise.
  • Substitute sweet potatoes for the saba plantains.
  • Add milk (fresh or canned evaporated) before serving.
  • Serve cold by refrigerating overnight.