For Rahel Stephanie—chef, food writer, and founder of the wildly popular Indonesian supper club, Spoons—Pisang Goreng brings back childhood memories. These sweet and tart, batter-covered bananas remind her of wet afternoons spent with her granddad and mother—curled up on the sofa watching the sheets of rain fall outside the windows, a cup of jasmine tea in hand. To this day, every bite of this dish evokes a sense of calm prevailing against chaos.
The beauty of Pisang Goreng is it isn’t only suitable for cozy domestic scenes; it’s an all-occasion snack that can be dressed up for a glittering party, whipped up after brunch, or (if you’re feeling indulgent) smothered with copious scoops of ice-cream.
For this recipe, Rahel recommends using Saba or Apple bananas, which should be available in many Asian grocery stores, with the next best alternative being very ripe plantains. Steer clear of Cavendish bananas—the usual Western variety—as they won’t hold their shape once fried.
- 10 ripe apple or Saba bananas, peeled, or 5 ripe plantains, peeled and halved
- 100g plain flour
- 50g rice flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- 2 tbsp agave or maple syrup (optional)
- 2 tbsp black or white sesame seeds (optional)
- 200ml ice cold water
- Vegetable or sunflower oil for deep frying
- Heat oil in a pot, about 1-2 inches deep, to 170°C
- If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, dip a wooden spoon or chopstick into the oil. If the oil bubbles around the surface, we’re ready to fry!
- While waiting for the oil to heat up, mix the batter ingredients in a mixing bowl
- Dip a piece of banana into the batter. Gently lower it into the oil and fry until it’s crispy and golden and brown. Repeat
- Drain the fritters on a cooling rack over a baking tray
- Don’t overcrowd the pot to ensure perfect crispy fritters
- You can choose to leave the fritters in an oven preheated to 50°C to keep them warm, while you work through the rest of the batter
Thank you to Rahel Stephanie for her Pisang Goreng recipe.
Rahel is a London-based cook, food writer, and the founder of the Indonesian plant-based supper club Spoons. Rahel founded Spoons in late 2019, as a response to the misrepresentation of Indonesian food in London and a manner of celebrating and reclaiming the food from her culture. It began as a way to share recipes with her friends and since has grown to unprecedented heights in popularity, with its dinner party events selling out in mere seconds.
Rahel has previously collaborated with creative collective Faces from the East as part of a dinner series event hosted by Soho House. She has also been featured in Atmos magazine and partnered with fashion brands such as Flannels.
Text: Ellen McBride
Images by Rahel Stephanie, Sharon Angelia