Pisang Goreng was introduced in 1511 by the Portuguese who loved their banana fritters as a breakfast staple. Since then it has became one of Indonesia’s best-loved snacks!
Pisang Goreng is a snack food mostly found throughout Indonesia (apart from Sumatra), Brunei, and Malaysia. The Philippines have a similar equally-tasty version called Ginanggang, which is coated in sugar before being stuck on wooden skewers. For the real Indonesian pisang goreng, however, it would be consumed as a snack in the morning and afternoon and sold by street vendors, known as warungs. The banana is battered and then deep fried, after which most street vendors will then sell it to you as it comes.
I think pisang goreng was my first ever Indonesian snack, and I have had a strong emotional connection to it ever since. I have also tried Panada, which is a pastry stuffed with tuna, and this was delicious. Other amazing snacks I have purchased from warungs across Indonesia have included kerak telor, plenty of nasi goreng, ayam penyet, more sate than can be mentioned, a few bakpao, plus those immaculately circular balls of onde-onde.
When I am not travelling around Asia, and end up stuck in miserable London, I try to search for some pisang goreng locally, although it is never the same taste or texture. There are casual dining outlets that offer it with ice cream (sometimes even with the ice cream covered over the fried bananas – a total no no), cheese, jam, or chocolate, but for genuine fried bananas Indonesia is where it’s at – and thankfully there, the traditional snack form is still much more prevalent.
Here’s a guide on how to make your own Pisang Goreng at home!