Turon (or banana lumpia or spring rolls) is a Filipino snack made of ripe plantain wrapped in spring roll wrapper then deep fried to perfection. Top with vanilla ice cream then drizzle with salted caramel sauce and you have yourself a dessert that transports you straight to the tropics where the sun is always shining and the sound of banana trees swaying with the warm breeze lulls you into a sweet siesta.
I stopped counting the years I’ve lived away from home. Too long is always my default answer now. The first few years my dad would say if it gets too hard just pack your bags and come home immediately. They didn’t raise a quitter though (BTW – remember to greet your dads on Father’s Day!). So here I am, years later, luckily thriving in the new country I chose to live in.
I’ve had the good fortune of meeting new friends, finding a job I like and learning to make the things I miss from home. Food has helped with my homesickness a lot. I cannot begin to describe to you the euphoria I get when I take that first bite of something, anything and it tastes like the ones from home.
Turon a.k.a. banana lumpia
Which brings me to this turon or banana lumpia recipe. Ironically I’ve never been a big fan of it. My mom would buy half a dozen from the local market and I would mostly ignore it.
But now, turon and I – we’re tight. It’s a simple snack but topped with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with salted caramel sauce – I would serve this to our most important guests at our fanciest dinner party in a heartbeat.
Deep frying adventures continue
I told you on Monday that we bought a new deep fryer and made Churros con Chocolate. We (by “we” I mean Red; I watched from a safe distance) took it for another spin and made turon. A deep fryer is optional though. You’ll just need to flip your plantains once one side is golden brown.
The uglier the plantain, the better
Unlike bananas, you want bruises on your plantain. You want a dull yellow plantain that’s semi-soft with patches of black (or mostly black). That means they’re ripe and ready to use. You don’t want perfect green ones because they are unripe and unripe plantains are bitter and just nasty.
Do you like jackfruit?
Traditionally, turon is made with jackfruit; a sliver of jackfruit is included in the roll. We don’t particularly like jackfruit and it’s difficult to find fresh ones here so we left it out.
This version is made with cinnamon and brown sugar and it’s just delicious (this is Red’s recipe BTW. I shared her ultimate nachos a few weeks back. She’s like Skynet eh? Slowly taking over my blog).
Salted caramel sauce and ice cream
Salted caramel sauce is optional too. So is ice cream (vanilla or coconut or even mango if you can find it). Turon is great on its own (seriously good). But the warm weather is here and if you want a tropical dessert to cool you down, I highly recommend this combination. It is just delicious.
So go ahead and try your hand at making turon or banana lumpia. Dress it up or down, it’s a mouth-watering, beloved Filipino treat.
Turon (Filipino Banana Lumpia)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 pcs ripe plantain each one cut into 4 3-inch pieces (see note 1)
- 8 pcs 8x8 inch spring roll wrapper thawed according to package instructions (see note 2)
- 1/8 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup canola oil enough to deep fry the turon
- In a medium bowl, mix the 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
Position a spring roll wrapper on the counter so that when you look down on it, it's diamond shaped.
- Take a piece of cut plantain and roll it in the sugar/cinnamon mix until completely coated. Then place it horizontally in the middle of your diamond.
To wrap the plantain, imagine you're making an envelope that's supposed to hug the plantain tightly: do the bottom then the sides and then up (see note 3). Gently roll away from you until you have a small triangle flap left on top. To seal, dab a generous amount of cornstarch mix on the flap then close.
- Once all plantains are wrapped, get your oil ready for frying. If using a deep fryer, set it to 338F (or approximate - like ovens, deep fryers are all different). While waiting for the oil to get hot enough, prepare a baking sheet by placing several pieces of paper towels on it. This is where you'll place the banana lumpia after frying to drain excess oil.
- They are done when golden brown on both sides.
- Let the banana lumpia cool a bit before serving. You can also drizzle salted caramel sauce on them or serve them with ice cream.
- A plantain has a slightly harder shell than a banana so the easiest way to cut it is by cutting the ends off first then making a slight cut at the side, making sure not to cut all the way through and hitting the plantain inside. Once you've done that, you can easily peel the skin off. To cut the plantain for this recipe, cut it in half lengthwise first then again half crosswise so you end up with 4 pieces.
- You can usually find spring roll wrappers in Asian stores or at the international aisle/frozen section of your local supermarket. Don't buy the rice paper kind. You need the ones that can also be used for wontons.
- Check out this post for detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to wrap turon.
Did you make banana lumpia? Tell me about it in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.
If you’re curious about Filipino cuisine, here are some recipes you can try:
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