Pisang Goreng: The Street Food that Malaysians go Banana for
Pisang Goreng (or Goreng Pisang) is an iconic street snack of Malaysia. This delightful treat consists of sliced bananas dipped in batter and deep-fried to perfection. The name Pisang Goreng translates to “fried banana” in Bahasa Malaysia. While the preparation of Pisang Goreng is straightforward, the choice of banana plays a crucial role in achieving the desired flavour and texture. In Malaysia, Pisang Tanduk is a popular choice, but those who prefer a sweeter and softer fritter often opt for Pisang Kepok.
The batter for Pisang Goreng typically includes eggs and a combination of flour, such as wheat flour, rice flour, tapioca flour, or bread crumbs. Some recipes incorporate coconut milk or milk and vanilla extract to enhance the aroma.
Pisang Goreng is said to have originated during the Portuguese exploration of Southeast Asia in the early 16th century. Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese, bananas were typically consumed raw and never cooked. The introduction of flour by the Portuguese opened up new possibilities for frying bananas. The Portuguese themselves enjoyed banana fritters for breakfast and had a similar dish called Sonhos de Banana, which translates to “Banana Dreams.”
While the classic Pisang Goreng remains popular, vendors have begun to experiment with various ingredients to offer more variety and stand out from the competition. As a result, there are now several common variations of Pisang Goreng available. These variations may include fillings such as cheese, condensed milk, chocolate, ice cream, or various nuts. Some vendors even serve Pisang Goreng with condiments like sambal or Thai chili sauce.
Today, Pisang Goreng can be found at street stalls along sidewalks or at night markets, where locals and visitors can enjoy this delicious snack. Furthermore, fine dining restaurants have started to incorporate Pisang Goreng into their menus, serving it as an appetizer or dessert. Whether you indulge in the classic Pisang Goreng or explore the diverse range of variations, this iconic Malaysian street snack is sure to satisfy your cravings.