This is the most incredible plate-licker of a dessert from Thailand, with the sweet and sour flavours of coconut milk and lime. We used to serve it in my restaurant on Thai-themed nights and everyone went crazy for it.
I would always encourage the customers to lick the plate and they often did, which I loved. Somehow it seems to me the only way to do this justice. The smears of sweet coconut sauce left on the plate at the end should not be wasted.
I learned to make this in Thailand years ago and have eaten it countless times since. I reckon it has made me a lot of friends and I have never served it to anyone who didn’t finish it in about a minute and want more. Considering there are only a few ingredients and it takes just a few minutes minutes to put together it really has a lot of bang for the buck.
I prefer to use those small finger sized bananas for this as they have a denser texture. However any banana will do, I just cook the larger ones for slightly less time as they fall apart pretty quickly.
I like to fry the bananas pretty fast so that they have little crunchy bits of caramelised sugar on before I add the coconut. The lime at the end freshens and balances the sauce beautifully, when you check the flavour at the end it should be creamy, sweet and a little sour from the lime. If it doesn’t make your mouth water add more lime or coconut until it does.
This dessert really takes me back to Thailand every time I eat it. It is fresh and simple to make but with that well balanced flavour which makes Thai food so popular.
Caramelized Bananas in Coconut Milk
You will need
2 regular bananas or 4 small bananas
40g palm sugar or whichever sugar you have available (any sugar will do)
100ml coconut milk
1/2 juice of 1 lime
Vanilla ice cream
To make the bananas:
1. Prepare everything in advance before you start cooking.Peel the bananas and slice them in half lenthways. Measure the butter and sugar and slice the lime in half.
2. Melt the butter and sugar in a frying pan and heat them until they are bubbling.
3. Add the bananas and let them get caramelised on one side, don’t move the pan around. Keep the pan hot but be careful not to burn the sugar and butter. Err on the side of caution to avoid spoiling it because, ultimately, as long as you don’t burn it this dish tastes good.
4. It should take a couple of minutes to get the banana nice and brown then turn them over, they should still be slightly firm at this point.
5. Immediately add the coconut milk and squeeze over the lime juice.
6. Swirl the pan around to incorporate the butter, sugar, coconut and lime so they become a beautiful sauce. Check the flavour and add more lime or coconut if needed.
7. If you want a thicker sauce than you have at this point then I recommend you take out the bananas and reduce it a little. If the bananas are left in too long they will be too mushy to handle. Don’t worry if that happens though they are still delicious.
8. Place the bananas on a plate and spoon over the sauce. Finish with a scoop of ice cream and eat it immediately as the ice cream starts to melt. You can garnish it with a little lime zest or toasted coconut, but I don’t often do this as we can’t wait that long to eat it.