when i read that the next "is my blog burning?" subject would be barbecuing and grilling, i started thinking about food that i might like to enter. would it be filipino? chamorro? american? i know my way around a grill, but barbecue is another matter; the only thing i know how to do well is pizza, which really sounds stupid, but is quite delish. still, it couldn't hurt to try something, i could always use the experience.
i trawled through the web, looking to see if there was anything anyone was craving, and i was rather surprised to see that bananaque (banana-q, bananacue) came up frequently.
bananaque (apparently the preferred spelling--personally i think that looks like it should be pronounced "bana-ná-keh" like parañaque, but then it'd be a city in the philippines) is a street or market food in the philippines, two burnt caramel coated bananas threaded on a bamboo skewer. the bananas used are saba bananas, which are a little tart and starchy, meant for cooking, not to be eaten raw. bananaque is quite delicious--the banana cooks in the intense heat, the flesh slightly condenses so the apple-y banana taste is more pronounced, the brown sugar caramelizes and infuses the banana slightly but also forms brulée-like shards of burnt sugar that melt on your tongue before you bite into the firm but creamy flesh. really, there is a reason why people miss it. perfect, i thought. i'll do bananaque.
of course, none of the web pages i found listed a recipe (which apparently is another reason people miss it), so i texted a cousin in the philippines. hey, i wrote. can you tell me how to make bananaque? do i have to cook the bananas before i throw them on the barbecue? (in reality it was more like "cn u gv me bnaQ rcp pls-bl b4 bbq?")
this is the reply i got:
TNGE!TLPN NG SGNG DIP ZGR DIP FRY!NGT!
which roughly translates to:
you dork, you *fry* it.
phffffft(the sound of me deflating). at this point you would never think i'd been to a state fair because i thought, "wha? but it's on a stick!" and if there's anything i've learned from a state fair it's that *any* food can be a stick, of course it doesn't have to be barbecued. i can't even being to describe how let down (read:annoyed) i felt in finding out that there was no 'que in bananaque (i have no life).
there goes my imbb entry.
after all that, i decided to make them anyway. i had to get maricel (pictured above) to help me, as i turned the first batch into carbon. the complete recipe, of course, is TLPN NG SGNG DIP ZGR DIP FRY, which translates to this:
find a nice, ripe bunch of saba bananas.
place bananas in hot oil on a medium to high flame (a lot of bananas works better than a few).
sprinkle brown or palm sugar sparingly (too much and you're asking for a gooey mess) on the bananas while they fry. if your bananas are ripe, they'll have some sweetness in them when cooked.
fry until the sugar has melted and the bananas turn a golden brown colour. you'll only need a couple of minutes.
take out bananas and drain, but obviously not on paper or paper towels as the sugar will stick to it. thread on a sturdy bamboo skewer or chopstick if you want to perpetuate the lie.