Chinese Toffee Bananas

(Photo by su-lin/Flickr)


1 egg
185 ml/6 fl oz/3/4 cup cold water
125 g/4 oz/1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
peanut oil for deep frying
4 firm ripe bananas

Sugar glaze
375 g/12 oz/1 1/2 cups sugar
125 ml/4 oz/1/2 cup cold water
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds


Beat egg, add water and beat again, then add flour all at once and beat until smooth. Let batter stand while making glaze. (To make the glaze, heat sugar and water in a small heavy pan, without stirring, until golden. Add the sesame seeds, remove from heat.) Start heating oil for deep frying, as the success of this sweet depends on having the glaze ready and the oil hot enough at the same time!

Slice bananas thickly, dip into batter to coat, then take one piece at a time and drop into the oil. Do not crowd the pan or they will stick together. If the temperature of the oil drops too much the batter will be heavy and absorb too much oil.

As soon as each piece of banana in batter is golden, lift out with a slotted spoon and put immediately into the saucepan with the glaze, turning to coat all over. Lift out and drop into a bowl containing cold water and ice cubes. The glaze will harden and become brittle almost at once. Lift out quickly onto a platter which has been lightly oiled to prevent sticking. Serve as soon as possible, while sugar is brittle and batter crisp.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)