Photo: Lano Lan/Shutterstock

Pisang Goreng Is the Sweet and Crunchy Snack Indonesian People Eat With Coffee

Indonesia Food + Drink
by Matador Creators Jan 11, 2023

Pisang goreng simply means fried bananas, but this popular street food in Indonesia and Malaysia takes skill to prepare – and the flavor is unforgettable. In fact, it’s very similar to a banana fritter that you might find on the dessert menu at a Western restaurant – but the street food version.

@foodwtf This #streetfood vendor in #Indonesia is making ‘pisang goreng’ – a deep fried banana 🍌 🎥 IG: @ourcollecti0n #streetfoodindonesia #foodtiktok #fruittok #foodtok ♬ Up Beat (Married Life) – Kenyi

First, the person preparing the pisang goreng (called godoh gedang in Bali), usually a street food vendor, rolls out a long strip of dough (sometimes using a glass beer bottle). He then wraps each small banana in a layer of dough. To get the maximum sweet flavor, the bananas should be ripe – plantains, saba bananas (which are more common in the Philippines), and smaller lady finger bananas can all be used for pisang goreng.

The bananas wrapped in dough are then dumped into a wok filled with oil, and then fried until golden brown and crispy. The shell of brittle fried dough coating the sweet, soft banana makes the perfect bite. Other nearby snack vendors might be selling sticky rice topped with grated coconut which is the perfect accompaniment to fried bananas.

There is also another version of Indonesian fried bananas called pisang goreng keju, which are fried bananas paired with cheese. Sometimes a slice of cheese is wrapped around the banana before its covered in dough and fried, so that the cheese melts inside the dough wrapper. In other versions, grated cheese or condensed milk is a topping on pisang goreng.

According to some histories, pisang goreng only entered Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine during the 16th century, during the Portuguese exploration of Southeast Asia. It was the Portuguese who likely introduced flour to  Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, as well as the idea to cook bananas (which were usually eaten raw).

Indonesian fried bananas are part of a class of Indonesian snacks called gorengan, which includes bakwan (deep fried vegetables), and fried cassava and cempedak, a type of fruit similar to jackfruit.  Fried snacks like pisang goreng are typically enjoyed with a cup of afternoon coffee or tea.

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