Last Sunday, my father and I prepared the perfect merienda for the family — Banana Turon. Actually, it was my mother who asked us to cook Turon to be sold outside our house as an afternoon street snack alongside my sister’s Halo-halo. But I discovered some vanilla and ube ice creams in the freezer, so I think the family practically ate half of the Turons that we made.
Turon is a sweet roll of saba banana and jackfruit (langka) coated with caramelized sugar and enclosed in lumpia wrapper. In my native town Malabon, it is locally known as Valencia, and the Turon the we have always known has a munggo filling instead of banana. It is usually served as an afternoon snack, although some posh Filipino restaurants serve it as a dessert “a la mode” which sometimes comes with an unreasonable price tag.
Most of the ingredients of Turon are actually inexpensive. Saba bananas are cheap and nutritious. You can buy jackfruit flesh in tingi (small portions). In fact, we sell one piece of Turon for only P15. However, preparation can be hard labor, especially if you’re not used to rolling and wrapping and keeping everything neat and tidy.
Before you start cooking, here’s a few notes in buying the fruit ingredients: make sure the saba bananas are ripe, possibly with black spots on the skin, soft to the touch, but not mushy; jackfruit flesh must be golden yellow and sweet smelling. Using unripe fruits may result to a gummy bite which is not very appetizing.
Banana Turon Recipe
Yield: Makes 10 pieces.
You will need:
- 10 pcs ripe saba banana (plantain), cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup ripe jackfruit (langka) flesh, shredded
- 2 cups brown sugar in a bowl for coating
- 10 pcs lumpia wrapper
- cold water in a small bowl for sealing the wrapper
- vegetable oil for deep frying
How to prepare:
- Place a sheet of lumpia wrapper on a flat, broad plate. Coat two halves of banana with brown sugar and place them side-by-side at the center of the lumpia wrapper. Add about 4 strips of jackfruit on top.
- Fold the side of lumpia wrapper nearest you to cover the banana. Fold the left and right sides inwards to close the ends. Dip your fingers into the bowl of water and moisten the far side of the wrapper before folding to close. The water helps in sealing the wrapper. Repeat steps with the rest of the ingredients.
- Heat enough oil in a deep pan over medium flame. Deep fry the pieces for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Drain excess oil using a strainer or paper towel.
- Serve it as it is or with your favorite ice cream. Dust it with some cocoa powder or drizzle it with some chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, or condensed milk as a serving suggestion.