Yes, that is a spoof off barbecue, but no, I did not make it up. It is indeed a real thing, and a really popular thing! Also known as banana-Q, it’s actually quite funny in that these simple sweet treats are not actually barbecued, but rather fried and then served on barbecue skewers. This faux pas aside, they are AMAZING! These afternoon snack staples are most often served by street vendors along side turon, a fried banana and jack fruit treat, and kamotecue, fried sweet potatoes with brown sugar.
Within the Philippines, Saba Bananas (also known as Asian Plantains) are the most common choice for banana cue. Though not technically the true plantain species these are another type of ‘cooking banana,’ therefore the ‘plantains’ you can purchase at your local grocery store will suffice very well.
Traditionally these bananas are most often fried whole, but saba bananas are also smaller than your typical plantain, so I might suggest cutting them into smaller wedges or even medallions for home made banana cue.
Other than that, there is very little trickery to creating these tasty, almost healthy snacks. You simply roll the plantain pieces in brown sugar and deep fry. …okay, so even ‘almost’ might be a stretch to go with ‘healthy,’ but they are delicious, and that is all that matters!
Filipino Banana Cue
Makes: 24 Wedges
- 3 green plantains (spotted plantains are also fine)
- brown sugar*
- 1-2 cups peanut or vegetable oil for frying*
*NOTE: You can choose to create your own candy coating in a separate pan for dipping the plantain wedges after you fry them, but the instructions below really simplify the process, and only require a single pot.
- Slice the ends off each plantain. Make a long slice through the skin, lengthwise down each plantain, and peal off the thick skins.
- Halve each peeled plantain. Slice each half lengthwise twice to produce a total of 8 wedges for each plantain; 24 in all.
- In a small pot, (or deep fryer,) bring enough oil up to frying temperature over medium heat. (Around 350°F, or when a small sprinkle of water sizzles.)
- Roll each plantain wedge in brown sugar and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden but not dark or burned.
- Remove from oil and let cool over a drying wrack and tray.
- These are best served hot/warm and with a very cold soda. Whipping cream for dipping might not be a bad new tradition!