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Bananas, tropical delicacy in Malaysia

Bananas are easily grown here and they are widely available. People here eat banana almost everyday. Having said that some people get so bored of bananas as they ate it too much. Banana is a healthy fruit and contains vitamins and minerals we need in our body.

In Malaysia, people eat pisang, as the fruit is known, cooked in different types of recipes. These types of cooked bananas are available in Pulau Pangkor.

The most popular banana cooking is Fried Banana: pisang goreng. Bear in mind that not every stall sells excellent crispy fried banana. I found a good one in Teluk Muruh, the mainland off Pangkor. These 2 ladies open their stall around 12 noon and we usually pick up a bag or two for afternoon tea snack. 10 pieces of fried bananas cost RM 1.00. Eat it while it's hot as it is crispier then.

Nutritional facts about BananasFried banana stall at Pulau Pangkor

  • Bananas are a good source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber. One banana has 15% of the vitamin C, 11% of the potassium, and 16% of the dietary fiber needed each day for good health.
  • Bananas also contain a rich supply of vitamin B6, providing 20% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of B6. Vitamin B6 is significant in the synthesis of antibodies in the immune system. It also helps in protein metabolism, red blood cell formation and functioning of the central nervous system.
  • The vitamin C in bananas helps your body to heal and defend against infections. Vitamin C also is valuable in the absorption of iron, synthesis of connective tissue, and blood formation.
  • The good source of potassium from bananas is helpful for your body to maintain the fluid balance in blood and tissue cells. Potassium is also an essential mineral for protein synthesis and the building of muscle because it stimulates nerve impulses for muscle contraction.
  • Research suggests that a diet high in potassium may reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke. Because bananas are sodium-free and very rich in potassium, they can be eaten as part of a diet to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Bananas have no fat, cholesterol or sodium.
  • Bananas contain more digestible carbohydrates than any other fruit. The advantage is that the body burns off calories from carbohydrates more quickly and easily than calories from protein or fat.

Pisang Goreng (Fried Banana)

Here's a recipe for fried banana or pisang goreng:

pisang gorengIngredients:

  • 100 g rice flour
  • 30 g plain flour
  • 1 level tbsp sugar
  • ¼ level tsp salt
  • 1½ tbsp sesame seeds
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 bunch cooking bananas such as pisang abu, pisang raja or pisang awak
  • Oil for deep frying


Mix rice and plain flour, sugar, salt and sesame seed in a small bowl. Stir in the water to make smooth batter.

Peel bananas and cut into halves lengthwise. Heat oil in a wok or saucepan over medium heat. (Oil should be about 4 cm deep.) When hot, dip the bananas into the batter and slip them into the hot oil. Fry a few pieces at a time until golden brown on one side and then turn over to brown the other.

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Banana Cake


  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ cups mashed ripe banana (2 to 3 medium bananas)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk, divided
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • banana slices and fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup (1 stick) margarine, softened
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Banana slices and fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in medium bowl; set aside. Beat together sugar and shortening in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in bananas. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Stir in pecans or walnuts. Pour evenly into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges; invert layers onto racks to cool completely.

Prepare frosting. Fill and frost cake layers with frosting. For a ridged effect, run a cake comb across the top and around the side of the cake. Garnish with banana slices and mint leaves, if desired.


Combine flour and salt in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in milk until well blended. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Let cool. Beat together shortening and margarine in a large bowl until creamy. Add sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla. Add flour mixture; beat until smooth.

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Find some more recipes of dishes you can eat in Malaysia

Find some about tropical fruits in Malaysia here

For the Pulau Pangkor Newsletter I collected a few banana recipes. Click here

Back to Malaysia food

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