Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thai Bananas in Syrup

This is a simple Thai dessert, bananas cooked in a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water). Simple, but it takes a while to prepare. The red limestone paste firms the banana flesh, so it's better able to handle the heat (and not turn to mush); you can also use white limestone paste, if you can't find the red one (both of which can be found in good Asian supermarkets). Choose not quite ripe bananas for this, more green in colour; don't, I repeat don't, use ripened bananas for this, otherwise it will just turn to mush. We estimated the amount of the simple syrup, adjust if you are using more bananas (or less). These bananas look reddish-brown when cooked like this, that's the caramelized sugar, and has nothing to do with the red limestone paste. They're quite tasty, and great if you have a sweet tooth.

Thai Bananas in Syrup
7 Thai bananas, ripe (green-yellow) to just ripe (yellow-green)
1/4 tsp red limestone paste
1 cup cane sugar
1 cup water
a pinch of salt

Peel bananas and cut into half, or thirds if very large. Place limestone paste in medium container of water, then put bananas in water, so they are covered. Keep in water for 15 minutes (green-yellow), 25 minutes if ripe (yellow-green).

Take bananas out of soak water, then rinse off limestone water. Put bananas, sugar and water in pot, and bring to boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to very low and continue to boil sugar for about 1 hour. Occasionally, stir the contents of the pot slowly by picking it up off the stove and swirling (be careful not to spill the hot sugar contents).

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