Pisang goreng (Banana fritters)

Mum used to make a big batch of pisang goreng for afternoon tea back when I was a kid.   Any leftovers were packed into my lunchbox for school the next day.   Unfortunately, I never grasped the type of bananas mum used for the fritters, and even if she told me today, I wouldn’t know what to look for. 

When I moved abroad, I tried to make pisang goreng using normal bananas you’d find in the shops.  Alas, it wasn’t the right type of banana, as the texture couldn’t withstand the hot oil, and the result was a mushy mess.

We normally order banana fritters for dessert in Chinese restaurants in London, which come served with the obligatory ice cream.  As nice as it is, I still yearn for the tea time snack mum used to make.

I figured that the only way to reproduce mum’s version is to use ripe plantain instead. I’ve tried using an online tool to translate plantain into Malay, and Pisang Raja keeps coming up but it doesn’t ring a bell.  Anyway, I was on a mission this afternoon and we drove to an Indian greengrocer’s during a temporary lull in the rain, and bought some plantain as well as regular bananas. 

I made a light batter and used both bananas to make pisang goreng, and the plantain definitely has the better texture and flavour.  The ordinary banana is too soft and mushy and can hardly hold its shape. 


  • 1/2 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of tepid water
  • 2 plantains, each sliced into half horizontally
  • 1/2 cup of oil (and a bit more)


  1. Mix the flour, turmeric and salt together in a big bowl
  2. Slowly mix in 1/2 cup of water and stir well to combine.  The batter should coat the back of your spoon
  3. Add the extra water as necessary
  4. Heat oil in a wok
  5. Once oil is hot, mix the bananas into the batter and fry them in batches for 3 minutes on either side until golden
  6. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried bananas and drain using kitchen paper
  7. Tuck in!



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