Sweet Treat, Rediscovered: Banana Turons

Monday, December 1, 2008 44 comments
Classic Turon
Hmmmm . . . need to work on my chocolate drizzling.

It's said that when something has been lost, it takes fresh eyes to find it again. In the case of banana turons, it took fresh tastebuds. Shortly after I launched my blog, I received a welcoming comment from fellow blogger Shaved Ice Sundays who expressed a fondness for this Filipino fried banana snack that a friend had introduced to her. 

As I read her comment, I instantly recalled the delight of biting into the delicately crisp wrapper, glazed with caramelized brown sugar that oozed out of the sweet, almost custard-y banana center. That's when it dawned on me: I love turons, too! How could I have possibly forgotten?

Well, it's also said that familiarity breeds contempt or, in this case, indifference. Turons were a common childhood treat for me and when a food is so common and familiar, our tastebuds somehow become inured to its flavor, no matter how delicious. Gone is the novelty, the thrill of newness. It's the gastronomic shrug-off, as if to say, "Been there, tasted that". One way to recapture that lost sense of pleasure is to experience it through the enthusiasm of an unjaded palate. 

That's how I felt about banana turons so when another person expressed such enjoyment from a snack long relegated to obscurity in the back pages of my mental menu, it spurred me to try it again. And with one bite, I found myself reunited with a forgotten deep-fried friend.

So reach back into your culinary memories for a favorite food that you haven't tasted in a while. For whatever reason it was set aside, perhaps it's time to give it another bite. If you've recently had a marvelous dish you've never tried before, tell someone! By sharing our enjoyment and enthusiasm for all manner of food whenever and with whomever we can, chances are we may rekindle someone's love of a long-neglected favorite. 

Accordingly, this recipe is dedicated to Shaved Ice Sundays - thank you for inspiring me to rediscover this sweet treat!

Banana Turons - Two Ways
Traditionally made with ripe saba, or plantain, I made these with regular bananas. Be sure to pick ones that still have a bit of green on the peel - too ripe and the bananas may become mushy after frying. And yes, they are basically banana lumpias!

Nutty-Rummy Turon
The white chocolate drizzling needs work, too.

Makes 12-16

The Basics

3-4 bananas, ripe but still a bit green
12-16 lumpia (spring roll) wrappers, found in the refrigerated section at many Asian stores
1/4 cup brown sugar, on a plate or shallow bowl

Slice bananas in half, lengthwise, and then slice each half across so that you have 4 pieces/banana;

For Classic Turon:

1 jar or can of langka (jackfruit), cut into strips
2 Tbs lemon juice

1. Slice bananas as directed above then dip pieces into lemon juice and dredge in brown sugar;
2. Place sugared banana on bottom third of a lumpia wrapper and top with 2 slices of langka;
3. Fold the bottom edge over the filling, tucking under firmly then fold over the side edges, making sure they are straight all the way up;
4. Gently but firmly, roll the turon all the way to the top. Moisten the top edge with water to seal the roll completely;
5. Repeat with remaining banana pieces.

For Nutty-Rummy Turon:

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped finely
1/4 cup dark rum

1. Slice bananas as above then soak in rum for 3-5 minutes;
2. Dredge one piece in brown sugar and place on bottom third of a lumpia wrapper. Sprinkle 1-2 tsps of walnuts on top;
3. Fold the bottom edge over the filling, tucking under firmly then fold over the side edges, making sure they are straight all the way up;
4. Gently but firmly, roll the turon all the way to the top. Moisten the top edge with water to seal the roll completely;
5. Repeat with remaining banana pieces.

For complete instructions on how to wrap and fry lumpia/turons, check out my slideshow tutorial How to Wrap Lumpia!

To fry:
1. In a large sauté or fry pan, heat enough oil to cover the turons halfway - about 1/2"; to test for readiness, dip a corner of the turon - if it sizzles, it's ready!
2. Arrange turon in the pan so that they are not crowded and fry until golden brown; turn over once until other side is also golden brown.
3. Remove from pan and place in a colander or plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Serve hot with chocolate sauce or a scoop of ice cream!

Chocolate Sauce:
1/4 - 1/2 cup milk, dark or white chocolate chips
1-2 Tbsps milk

Place chips and milk in small microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 20-30 seconds or until chips start melting. Stir to blend chips and milk.


  • Lori said...

    Yum! We had a dessert at an Asian fusion restaurant in Brazil not long ago that looks similar to this. So great!
    Is that Appleton rum I see in the picture? My favorite. We are headed to Jamaica in a couple weeks and I can't wait to have my fill. :)

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Lori - have fun in Jamaica! We're heading to the Philippines in 2 weeks for the holidays so I'll get a chance to try these made by more experienced hands.

    Heather - they really are tasty, which is why I can't believe I didn't try making them sooner!

  • Elinluv said...


    I love this banana turons..I will definitely try this out. I heart bananas so anything will them as ingredients I will go for it :) Thanks for sharing such a nice one.

  • liza said...

    I'm amazed each time that the ingredients (for this recipe and past) aren't too exotic (I can just do the rum version)and the cooking technique simple. I always have bananas, chocolate, and rum on hand (I have kids!) so I only need the wrappers w/c are available at my local grocer! Will HAVE to do this...

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Elinluv - bananas are the star of this snack but the great thing is that you can add whatever you like: chocolates, fruits, nuts . . .! I will be making more just so that I can experiment with ingredients.

    Liza - as I noted w/Elinluv, as long as you've got the bananas, wrappers and brown sugar, throw in whatever else you might have in the kitchen. Let me know if you come up with any interesting combos!

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Jackie - that was the story with Iced Shaved Sundays! She had to describe them to me in detail because her friend never actually told her what they were called. Let's just call them delicious!

  • Daily Spud said...

    I am sold on the nutty-rummy turon - not least because it has just reminded me of a banana cake I make with rum and walnuts and which I believe I am about to rediscover (right after I go out and buy those lumpia wrappers :). And so it goes!

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Joie de Vivre & Chef E - thanks for the chocolate drizzle affirmation! I worried it looked messy than the 'artful' I was going for.

    Daily Spud - I will be on the look out for it!

  • shavedicesundays said...

    Yay!! You posted it! Now i'm gonna impress my friend one of these days and make it for her. You are a sweetie for dedicating this to me. Those you made look so delicious and make me want to go get some now. I never knew you would eat them with the sauces on them either, so I learned lots of new things today from you. Thank you!

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Shaved Ice Sundays - you're so welcome! Please let me know how they turn out for you when you get the chance to make them. Although I've eaten so many of these in the past, this was the first time I made them myself and I was surprised at how easy it was. Dangerous! Now I can have them whenever a craving hits.

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Mariana - I can almost guarantee it! The texture of fried lumpia wrapper reminds me a little of baked phyllo - that light crispiness is so appealing to me. Which is probably why I love galaktoboureko and baklava so much!

  • Cris said...

    Hey sweetie, I am trying to catch up! Oh my, this looks so good, love banana recipes! Have a nice weekend! Moving on to next posts now, will read them. :-)

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Thanks Cris! Hope you had fun at the concert the other night. BTW, we are going to have the last few slices of honey saffron cake tonight - it's soooo cold here now, it will go great with some hot coffee!

  • Jen said...

    What a treat! As a kid, I looked forward to the mornings when my mom surprised us with fried bananas sprinkled with confectioners sugar. Not only did you spark that memory, but now I have a new recipe to try!

  • Jo said...

    oh i miss turon...especially with the langka on the inside. the chocolate sauce on them look so great. maybe i should make it that way sometime. =)

  • Sophie said...

    This looks like something I'll have to try. I'd love to use plantains, they are so delicious...and with chocolate, yum! :) I'd like to share your recipe with our readers, please let me know if you're interested!

    Sophie, Key Ingredient Chief Blogger

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Sophie - Thank you very much! I'd be pleased to have you share it with your readers. Plantains are even better - if only I'd had some on hand that were at the right point of ripeness.

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Reeni and Jen H - Thanks! They really are easy to make and as you can see from ChefBliss' post, you can really vary it from the two basic components of banana (or plantain) and spring roll wrappers. I'm going to have to think of some new combos to try out myself. Please let me know if you do end up making these and if you tried something new!


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