Banana Spring Rolls

This one is for reader Heather, who asked for more dessert recipes to satisfy her sweet tooth without veering into sugar-land.

It’s also for my son’s friend Tessa, who loooves banana spring rolls – I make them for her each time she visits. Bon appetit, Heather and Tessa!

I developed this recipe after we ate banana spring rolls at the now-defunct Red Door restaurant on South Granville Street in Vancouver. My son enjoyed them so much that I was inspired to try and recreate them at home.

When cooked, the banana gains extra sweetness, making this a satisfying sugar-free treat. The spring rolls also make a crispy contrast to the fluffy, almost custardy texture of the cooked banana.

Don’t fear the deep-fry  – surprisingly, deep-frying at the correct temperature creates food that isn’t overly oily.

Because spring roll wrappers are made of wheat flour, they aren’t Paleo, so I’d use this as part of a special-occasion cheat meal.

This recipe serves 4 people (4 spring rolls each), but can easily be multiplied to serve a larger group. It’s a bit fiddly  to make but oh, so worth it! As well, you can do a lot of it in advance if you like.

Stuff you need

For the spring rolls:

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas (this might not sound like enough, but you only need 1/8 of a banana for each spring roll)
  • 2 tbsp. grated lemon peel (2 lemons’ worth)
  • 16 spring roll wrappers. The ones I used are about 5.5″ (14 cm) square. They must be spring roll wrappers, not wonton wrappers, which are too heavy
  • A little bowl of water to moisten your fingers with as you assemble the rolls
  • 2 – 3 cups of oil for deep-frying. I use light olive oil.

Kitchen tools:

  • A small, deep saucepan for deep-frying (mine is 7″ (18 cm) wide); apparently a wok also works well, but I haven’t tried this myself
  • Tongs or a slotted metal spoon
  • Paper towels for draining

For the optional sauce:

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened orange juice concentrate (I use the frozen)
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream or thick coconut milk (the “cream” of the coconut milk)
  • Optional: Tiny dishes for the sauce; mine are 2.5″ wide (just over 6 cm)

For the optional garnishes (use some or all):

  • 1/3 cup chopped salted roasted peanuts
  • The ever-popular sprig o’mint — 1 sprig per plate
  • Berries
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon

Now what?

Make the sauce:

  1. Put the frozen orange juice concentrate into a small saucepan and cook on low heat until thick, stirring occasionally. This should take about 15 minutes.
  2. Take it off the heat and let it cool while you make the spring rolls.
  3. Optional make-ahead tip: Put the sauce in the fridge or freezer when cool; thaw and gently warm before using.

Prep the garnishes, if using

  • Chop the peanuts
  • Wash and pat dry the mint leaves
  • Wash the berries (slice any strawberries)

Roll up the spring rolls:

  1. Cut each banana in half at its “waist” or equator, then cut each of the halves into 4 longish pieces about the size of your little finger. You should now have 16 pieces in total.
  2. Spread out a spring roll wrapper with one of the corners pointing towards you, as shown in the diagram below.
    • Tip: Keep the other wrappers covered with plastic wrap or a damp cloth while you work — they dry out quickly.
  3. Dip your finger in water and moisten the wrapper along its outside edges
  4. Place a piece of banana in the bottom corner of the wrapper, as shown below in step 1
    • NOTE: The diagram below shows how to fold a spring roll wrapper with a *meat* filling – it was the best diagram I found, and far clearer than my own wonky photos. Your task, should you choose to accept it: Pretend the meat in the diagram is actually a piece of banana.
  5. Sprinkle the banana lightly with a tiny bit of the grated lemon peel. You just want a hint of lemon – the dominant flavour should be banana.
  6. Roll up firmly as shown below, pressing down the edges. Moisten the edges with extra water if needed to make them stick.

How to Fold Lumpia Wrappers | YummyAddiction.com
Please mentally replace the meat filling in these images with banana. Image courtesy of http://yummyaddiction.com/lumpia-filipino-spring-rolls/

Repeat steps 2 through 6 until you’ve rolled all 16 spring rolls.

Optional make-ahead tip: You could freeze the spring rolls at this point, then thaw and deep-fry them later.

Deep-fry the spring rolls:

  1. Place a few layers of paper towels on a plate for draining
  2. Pour oil into your tall, narrow pot to a depth of about 2 inches (5 cm)
  3. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until quite hot; 325 – 375 F is ideal (165 -190 C). You can test by putting a small test piece of spring-roll wrapper into the oil – it should sizzle and brown, but not burn. If the oil smokes at any time, it’s too hot.
  4. When the oil’s hot enough, put a few spring rolls at a time into the pot and deep-fry for 1 -2 minutes until lightly brown, turning once or twice. Tips:
    • Deep-fry only a small number of spring rolls at a time. If you put in too many, this will lower the temperature of the oil and the spring rolls will be soggy and greasy. In my 7″ wide (18 cm) pot, I cooked 2 spring rolls at a time
    • Keep the pot handle turned in, towards the centre of the stove, no nobody can bump it and toddlers can’t grab it. No trips to the emergency room!
    • Don’t *drop* the spring rolls into the hot fat, because this could splatter and  burn you. Instead, gently *place* them in using tongs or a metal slotted spoon
  5. When the rolls are light brown, remove them with tongs or your slotted spoon and drain on paper towels

Plate, garnish, and serve

Getting fancy with the sauce:

  1. If using a tiny sauce dish, fill 1/2 the dish with the thickened orange juice and 1/2 with the whipping cream or thick coconut milk.
  2. Take a toothpick and make swirly patterns along the line where the 2 sauces meet — funnnn!
  3. If not using tiny sauce dishes, pool or dribble the sauce decoratively around on a small plate — see some creative ideas here.

Plating and garnishing: 

  1. Place the spring rolls decoratively on the plate:
    • I stack them in a “log cabin” pattern as shown in the photo at the beginning of this article, but don’t feel limited by this. Other options:
      • Slice them diagonally to reveal the filling
      • Present them vertically in a bowl with a scoop of my Creamy Chocolate Pudding, or a scoop of added-sweetener-free ice cream (I don’t have any recipes for this yet – I will invent one in the next few weeks and post!)
  2. Add your choice of garnishes
  3. Receive accolades from happy guests!

Published by

Anne Scott

Hi, I'm Anne! I'm passionate about sugar-free living, healthy aging, reading, writing, books, and libraries.

2 thoughts on “Banana Spring Rolls

  1. Looks yummy I will certainly try it! I do grow mint in pots in summer and a strawberry garden too! Can’t wait!

    Sent from my iPad

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    1. Wow, your garden sounds beautiful, Heather! Having your own mint and strawberries will make it so much more special. I keep meaning to learn how to garden but haven’t got there yet…maybe when I retire 🙂 .

      Like

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