There’s a string of islands in the middle of the pacific ocean. Theres an island within that string of other islands and in the middle of that island are some sacred healing stones or Keanianileihuaokalani. Which are just around the corner from one of my favorite places in this world, my grandma’s house! In her back yard is garden that is filled with the most bountiful fruit trees you’ve ever seen! When I was little there were 6 banana trees, so there was more than enough bananas for everyone. Their house always smelled like over ripe bananas and mangos (which is why every time I’m at the grocery store I have to stop and smell the mangos). What do you do when you’re a tiny filipino lady and have too many bananas? You make Banana Lumpia! Or the more traditional name turon.
As simple as this recipe is, I still claim it to be the first recipe I’ve ever created. During one of our many lumpia rolling afternoons, my grandma started hauling the bananas to the table and I thought, “this would be better with cinnamon and sugar!”. Up to this point, she’d only wrap the banana and then fry them. So I got a little bowl, mixed the cinnamon and sugar and coated my bananas before wrapping them. It was sooo good and I was so proud of myself! Keep in mind, I was 8, so it was a big deal for me to think of something that tweaked what my grandma had done for years and for her to love it. From that day forward, I make all of our banana lumpia with cinnamon and sugar. When it was time to create my final menu project for my last quarter of Culinary School, I of course included this as my dessert even though it’s simple, it means a lot to share it.
The thing that I love about filipino food is that it’s hard to nail down exactly what filipino food is because so many other countries have introduced their own foods and we’ve then made it our own. On top of that, the Philippines are a collection of so many islands that one recipe can be interpreted in many different ways. I’ve never had lumpia from 2 different families and have them taste the same, but they are definitely Filipino. Even though lumpia originated in China we’ve made it our own.
- 5 Bananas or 20 apple bananas
- 20 Lumpia wrappers
- 1/2 white Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1 cup Neutral oil, for frying
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, garnish
- If your using traditional bananas peel them then cut into half lengthwise then crosswise to make 4 similar sized banana pieces. If you are able to find apple bananas (the small starchy ones) then all you'll need to do is peel them.
- Mix cinnamon and sugar on a plate and roll each banana piece in the mix before rolling in the wrapper. If you're using apple bananas you may need to add a little more sugar to the lumpia since they are not as sweet as traditional bananas.
- Lay the wrap like a diamond and lay the banana on the in the middle of the lower 1/2 and roll the corner close to you over the banana.
- Fold the sides to the center and roll secure the ends with a little water.
- In a fry pan add about an inch of oil and heat on medium heat once the oil is at 350° or when the oil bubbles around the lumpia when placed in the oil. If it doesn't bubble it will become soggy.
- Place the lumpia carefully seem side down in the oil making sure they are not touching, fry the lumpia until golden brown and heated through about 5 minutes per batch . Allow cool for 5 minutes before eating then dust with powdered sugar, for garnish as well as noting which is banana because theres nothing more shocking then eating a pork lumpia when you're expecting banana.