Sweet Bananas with Coconut Milk
A friend of mine gave me this recipe after I told her how much I missed eating Thai desserts:
“Sweet Bananas with Coconut Milk is a popular dish in Thailand I’m sure you’ll remember having. Give it a try, it’s really really easy to make and super tasty!” She said.
Easy to make. I love hearing these words! In theory, this recipe is indeed easy to make IF you properly read and not scan directions like I tend to do. The first attempt ended up in banana mush, baby food, cream of corn, you get the picture. That’s because the recipe clearly said to cook the bananas on LOW heat, which I did not do, turning the burner on high flames instead. Strike one.
The second time was a bit better but again, my sweet bananas were almost fully melted and looking more like soup than solid. That’s because I missed the part where it said to slice the bananas about two inches thick otherwise anything to small would cook too fast and disappear. My teensy slices would have fared better on top of a bowl of cereal. Strike two.
But I eventually got it right: the third time was a charm and the sweet bananas were absolutely delicious!
Lesson of the day: Read recipes from beginning to end. Never assume you know everything!
The verdict: My friend was right, these sweet bananas are definitely a taste of Thailand.
There is a famous night food market in Bangkok on Sukhumvit 38 that I used to visit all the time for their unforgettable Kao Moo Dang (grilled red pork with rice), Pad Pak Bung Nam Man Ho (morning glory with chilies and garlic) and dessert carts that served Khanom Chan (sticky and sweet layered squares) and Lod Chong (mochi like dough bits with coconut milk and ice). This banana dessert belongs there. I knew I was tasting something authentic when a feeling of nostalgia suddenly passed through my veins, making me want to run to the airport and catch the next flight to Siam. And then I began day dreaming and it went a little something like this:
The first thing I would do is hit that street food market and stuff my face until I couldn’t handle another bite, then hop on a tuk tuk and go to the Bamboo Bar at the Mandarin Oriental for a cocktail and some live music. The next morning I would make my way to Chiang Mai for a few days to experience their famous mountain spas, eat Khao Soi, sausages and crispy pork, and finally end my vacation on the beaches of Phuket and Ko Phi Phi where I would rent a moped, drive up and down the winding roads, go for a long swim and feast on seafood and Singha beers.
And then my phone rang. Maybe it’s time I went back for a visit.
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 bananas, peeled and sliced about 2 inches thick
- 2 chestnuts (optional)
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- - In a medium size pan over high heat, add water and sugar and bring to a boil.
- - Add chestnuts and bananas, lower heat to a low simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until there is little liquid left and banana are bright and clear.
- - Turn the heat off and divide equally among two bowls.
- - Mix sesame seeds with coconut and pour a little into each bowl (about 3 tbsp each).
- - Season with a little salt and serve immediately with remaining coconut milk on the side.