Tres Leches Fried Bananas (Turon)

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What Is Tres Leches Fried Bananas (Turon)?

Tres Leches Fried Bananas is inspired by the popular street food – turon (deep fried bananas), and the rich and sweet tres leches cake. In this recipe, we marinated bananas in a tres leches sauce, wrapped them in egg roll wrappers, fried them up and served them with a thick, decadent tres leches sauce.

When I was growing up, I would often hang out with my friend Audrey and her wonderfully hilarious Filipino family after school and on weekends. During various celebrations such as birthdays or holidays, her mom would fry up some turon. The dessert was so simple yet so delicious. That was my first account of tasting turon and I’ve loved it ever since.

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Where’d It Come From?

Turon comes from the Philippines and is typically made with both bananas and jackfruit. The fruits are fried in spring roll paper and coated in caramelized brown sugar.

The place and time of when tres leches cake came to fruition is more debatable. Descendants from Nicaragua, Mexico and various parts of Central America will argue that it’s theirs. And can you blame them? This dessert is one of my favorites for a reason – It is damn good. Moist, buttery yellow cake drenched in a sweet and creamy trio milk sauce makes for the best sponge cake you’ll ever have.

Origins of the Tres Leches Cake

Also known as pastel de tres leches, tres leches cake’s popularity can be traced back to the 1940s in Latin America. This is when Nestle began to print tres leches cake recipes on their condensed and evaporated milk cans. Some say the cake was inspired by other soaked cakes such as trifles and tiramisu, which had an impact in Mexico in the 19th century.

Origins of Turon (Fried Bananas)

It’s been said that turon began in communities in the Philippines that were located near banana trees and crop fields. When there was a surplus from harvest, the extras would be given to locals and ultimately sold at roadside.

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How’s It Made?

Makes: 8 servings  | Passive prep time: 1 hour  | Active prep/cook time: 25 minutes

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Ingredients:

  • 4 bananas – cut in half width-wise

  • 8 egg roll wrappers

  • 1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk

  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 1 tbs cornstarch

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together all wet ingredients to create Tres Leches mix.

  2. Use toothpick to poke holes into bananas. 

  3. Place bananas in bowl and pour in half of the Tres Leches mix. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Refrigerate the remaining mix in a separate container.

  4. Make the fried bananas: Remove bananas from the refrigerator. Placing a single egg roll wrappers with one tip facing towards you, place a banana half (allow excess liquid to drip off first) in the center – about a third way up from the bottom tip. Lift the bottom tip of the wrap, place it over the banana, and roll halfway through. Then tuck in the left and right tips, add a tiny bit of water to the top tip, and complete the roll. Repeat for remaining bananas.

  5. Heat a saucepan on medium with ½ inch of vegetable oil. Once hot, add in banana rolls and keep a careful eye on the browning. It should take about 30 to 90 seconds to brown. Remove the bananas rolls from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate.

  6. Make the tres leches dipping sauce: In a saucepan, heat remaining tres leches mix on medium-high.

  7. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tbs of water.

  8. Once tres leches mix starts to bubble, slowly whisk in corn starch and reduce heat. The sauce should thicken to coat a spoon. If it doesn’t, dissolve more cornstarch in water and whisk in.

  9. Serve fried bananas immediately with the tres leches sauce for dipping.

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