Turon (banana spring rolls) would have to be my all-time favourite Filipino dessert. I literally had it everyday during a recent trip to the Philippines (thanks to Mr J). At the end of it I still wanted more.
Making turon is a simple enough process. You wrap slices of banana in spring roll wrappers. You then fry them in medium hot oil. There’s really nothing to it.
But what makes this such a unique dessert is the type of banana used. Saba bananas (Musa x paradisiaca) is not that uncommon in Australia. You can get packs of par-boiled frozen sabas from your neighbourhood Filipino food purveyor. There you’ll also find jars of sweetened sliced saba used for halo-halo (mixed fruit/bean iced dessert). Fresh saba though is seasonal and very rare. You have to be in the know to get a hold of them as I’ve never seen them sold in major Asian shops. We get ours from Mom who sources hers from a tiny shop east of Brisbane. Apparently, their flown in from Darwin when in season.
In a lot of recipes I’ve read plantains are always recommended as a substitute. I’ve never actually used plantains so I can’t really tell you if it’s any good. You might still be better off using the frozen variety for a more authentic taste.
Saba is starchier and less sweet than other bananas. Brown sugar is commonly added for sweetness and texture as it also coats the dessert with crunchy toffee.
Slivers of jackfruit are also added as its taste complements that of the saba banana.
Turon (Banana Spring Rolls)
6 Saba bananas (halved or quartered lengthwise)
Spring roll wrappers
Oil for frying
Brown sugar (optional)
Slivers of jackfruit (optional)
There are several ways you can add sugar to this dish. You either mix the sugar and the sliced bananas together or sprinkle them before wrapping. You also melt sugar in oil halfway through or after you’ve fried the banana spring rolls.
1. Heat up lots of oil for frying. Keep this at medium level.
2. Wrap the (sugared) bananas and jackfruit (optional) in spring roll wrappers.
3. Fry them.
4. Add some brown sugar to the oil (half-way through the cooking process or after cooking the spring rolls). You then spread this melted sugar onto the spring rolls to create that crunchy toffee coat.