Terrific Thai-style Goreng Pisang & Sweet Potato Balls

HEAR:
Click to listen/ download podcast of this week’s crispy, fruity episode!

SEE:

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Hi Makan Kakis, MasterChef Singapore Top 4 contestant, Sharlene Tan of Artisome Food, is back with this delectably snacky recommendation – goreng pisang! Or rather, Thai-style fried banana found at Golden Mile Complex. It used to be a one-woman-operation at the entrance of the Thai Supermarket and Sharlene has been going to the little-known kiosk for years.

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More recently, after the supermarket was given a facelift, the Golden Banana kiosk was also upgraded and expanded, with several staff in the kitchen churning out golden-fried goodies for the steady stream of customers. While a fried yam version is also amongst the menu items, Sharlene says the best choices are the eponymous fried banana ($4 for 6) and sweet potato balls ($4 for 12). The day I paid the kiosk a visit, those were exactly the only two items available, piled high and still hot from the fryer in two separate baskets.

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Starting with their most popular item, the banana was indeed golden and fried to crispy perfection. The fruit was cut into slim slices and coated in a thin, crunchy batter studded with sesame seeds, rice or corn puffs and coconut for extra flavour and texture.

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Where the batter was chunkier, it was also crunchier, having been fried expertly. The crispy coating was fragrant, savoury-sweet and nutty.

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Crunching through the batter yielded a creamy, yet firm bite of banana that was not too sweet. The fried banana had also stayed warm and crispy even after being in a takeaway paper bag for twenty minutes for the drive home.

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Sharlene prefers these Thai-style fried bananas to our local version because of the unique texture and flavours, perhaps because she spent the first 4 years of her life in Thailand. Short of buying a ticket and flying to Bangkok for its famous street food, a visit to Golden Banana is truly the next best thing!

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The sweet potato balls are really delicious too – made from a mixture of mashed sweet potato and seasoned glutinous rice flour, rolled into balls, then deep-fried till they puff up and float in the hot oil.

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These spongey spheres were between the size of a golf ball and ping pong ball. They looked heavy and dense, but surprisingly, were quite the opposite. The bite-sized, bright orange balls turned out to be hollow, light and airy on the inside, crisp and slightly chewy on the outside. Like the fried bananas, they were also not too sweet, with a pleasant savoury edge to balance things out. One was simply not enough!

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Admittedly, these deep-fried snacks are not for the health-conscious, but it has to be said while the battered banana & sweet potato balls were greasy, they were not cloying or heavy. Totally worth the indulgence, especially if you time it just when the golden goodies are freshly fried!

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TASTE:
GOLDEN BANANA
Golden Mile Complex
#02-64 (entrance of Thai Supermarket)
5001 Beach Road S(199588)
Open Tues – Sun: 10am – 8pm (closed Mon)
Tel: 97665001 (Saelee)

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