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Thai Fried Bananas Recipe (Authentic Kluay Kaek)

Top-down view of Thai fried bananas on a banana leaf, with flowers and banana peels scattered around.

Thai fried bananas recipe (kluay kaek) is an authentic Thai street food snack and popular dessert that's an absolute must-try. It's that perfect sweetness that you just can't get enough of. So, so good, you won't believe it's homemade!

Top-down view of Thai fried bananas on a banana leaf, with flowers and banana peels scattered around.

Authentic Thai fried bananas

Today isn't just another recipe day. This is legit authentic Thai street food coming from the ultimate source: the best street food stall in my hometown!

You know those crispy, aromatic, sweet fried bananas you can't walk past at a Thai food market in Bangkok? Those that are just too good to pass up? Well, I've got the insider secrets.

Trust me, it doesn't get any better than this, a recipe straight from a Thai who's been crisping up bananas for over a decade.

Close-up of deep-fried bananas topped with sesame seeds.

Her secret batter made of rice flour, tapioca flour, coconut milk, and shredded coconut, all mixed with ice-cold water, keeps 'em crisp forever.

We'll also add white sugar to add some of that irresistible sweetness, and we'll top it off with sesame seeds that add the perfect crunch and a subtle nutty flavor.

Enjoying this recipe? Check out more authentic Thai recipes! These Thai lotus flower cookies are perfect if you love crispy snacks.

Why try this recipe

  • Authentic Thai food: These Thai banana fritters aren't just "good enough" or "almost there". They're the best Thai fried bananas you'll ever make.
  • Use up old bananas: Got some old bananas lying around? Give them new life with this recipe.
  • Crowd-pleaser: Whether it's kiddos, adults, family, or friends, this is the perfect snack or dessert for everyone.
  • Healthy-ish: Okay, okay, this isn't health food. But bananas are nutritious and packed with good stuff, so that's close enough for us, right?
  • Fool-proof: Just follow this recipe, and you'll land in Thai banana fritters heaven - promise!
Deep-fried Thai bananas with a crispy layer, with one banana missing a bite.

The best bananas for frying

The best bananas for frying are ripe but not mushy Thai bananas. Skip the green ones, they're not sweet enough and won't crisp up the way we want.

For authentic flavor, hunt down some Thai bananas like 'kluay hom', 'kluay namwa', or 'kluay kai'. These are naturally sweet and have a rich flavor.

Thai kluay namwa green bananas on a tree.
Thai bananas, kluay namwa, growing in my grandmother's garden.

They should be ripe, but not overly ripe. Yellow with just a few green spots is perfect. Ask for them in your local Asian grocery store.

If Thai bananas are hard to come by, you can use others like plantains. Just make sure they're super ripe, almost to the point where you wouldn't eat them anymore. The riper they are, the sweeter your Thai-style fried bananas will turn out.

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Bird's eye view of fried bananas ingredients; Thai bananas, sesame seeds, coconut milk, shredded coconut, rice flour, tempura flour, and ice-cold water.
  • Bananas - Go for ripe, but not mushy Thai bananas for a natural sweetness and authentic flavor.
  • Tempura flour - Often used in Southeast Asian cuisine for an airy, light crispy texture.
  • Rice flour - Rice flour helps make the coating extra crunchy.
  • Coconut milk - Use full-fat coconut milk to give the batter a rich and creamy texture.
  • Shredded coconut - Shredded coconut adds to the golden-brown, crispy exterior and the sweet, nutty flavor.
  • Ice-cold water - Ice-cold water is the key to keeping the batter crisp. Trust me, these bananas stay crisp for so long!
  • Sesame seeds - These tiny seeds provide extra crunch and a nutty flavor.
  • White sugar (not in the image) - Feel free to adjust the sweetness to taste.

How to make crispy bananas

Make the batter

In a large mixing bowl, combine rice flour, tempura flour, shredded coconut, sugar, and sesame seeds. Create an opening in the middle, and slowly add ice-cold water while whisking to blend. Follow this up by adding in coconut milk and whisking.

Slice and batter the bananas

Cut the bananas into 3 thin slices each. Submerge all your banana slices into the prepared batter.

Deep-fry the battered banana slices

1. Place a large wok or deep-frying pan filled with oil over medium-low heat. If you have them, you can add fresh pandan for extra aroma, totally optional.

2. Use kitchen tongs to dip the banana slices into the batter, making sure they're well-coated.

3. Deep-fry the bananas, making sure not to overcrowd the pan, or you'll end up with a sticky mess. Flip regularly for even frying.

4. Fry until golden-brown and crisp. Take them out and let them drain on a sieve or paper towel to get rid of excess oil.

Tips and tricks for crispy success

  • Oil temperature: Make sure your oil is hot, around 350°F (175°C) at all times. Too hot, they'll burn. Too cool, they'll be soggy.
  • Cook in batches: Don't overcrowd the pan, this will result in soggy bananas, and crisp is what we want.
  • Test the oil: Drop some batter into the oil, if it sizzles and floats to the top, you're good to go.
  • Oil choice: For these Asian fried bananas, oils with a neutral flavor and high smoke point like vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil work best.

Kitchen tools

  • Heavy-bottomed pan or deep fryer
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Cooking thermometer (optional)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk

Serving suggestions

Enjoy these battered fried bananas as a hot and fresh snack or appetizer, right out of the pan. If you can wait a second, they get even crispier as they cool.

Serve as dessert: Serve them with a scoop of coconut or vanilla ice cream. Add whipped cream, a drizzle of honey, or an extra sprinkle of sugar.

How to store Thai banana fritters

If you've got leftovers (a rare sight), storing them the right way is crucial.

Once they've cooled down, place them in an airtight container with some paper towels. Store in the fridge and they'll be good for another day or two. For short term storage, place 'em in an airtight container with the lid slightly open.

Reheating instructions: Give them a quick second fry or preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake them for about 5–10 minutes.

Did you know?

  • You'll find these snacks going by 'pisang goreng' in other Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.
  • In Thailand, these crispy banana snacks are often fried alongside sweet potato and taro balls.
  • This kluay kaek recipe is also known as gluay kag or kluai thot.
  • You can use this batter to fry other fruits as well.

Frequently asked questions

Are fried bananas healthy?

Fried bananas are not really a healthy food. Even though bananas bring some natural nutrients, the frying process adds high in saturated and trans fats.

What do deep-fried bananas taste like?

Think of a sweet banana, with a crispy, golden coating that's utterly satisfying. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and they become slightly nutty, add some more white sugar and they become irresistibly sweet.

How to keep fried bananas crispy?

It's best to serve them hot and fresh. If you need to keep them warm before serving, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet in a low oven (around 200°F or 93°C).

Can I make this in advance?

You can make the batter in advance and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to fry. The bananas themselves are best served fresh for the ultimate crispiness.

Can I bake these instead of frying?

Yes, you can bake them in an oven or air fryer. However, you'll miss out on that ultimate crispiness.

Authentic Thai banana dessert recipes

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Cooking Method
Time
Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 15 min Total Time: 45 mins
Servings 90
Description

These Thai fried bananas are so good and so incredibly crisp, you'll want to have them any time of the day.

Ingredients
  • 30 bananas (Thai bananas, see notes)
  • 14.10 ounces rice flour
  • 3.50 ounces tempura flour
  • 3.50 ounces shredded coconut
  • 16.90 fluid ounces ice-cold water
  • 3.40 fluid ounces coconut milk (full-fat)
  • 1.05 ounce sesame seeds
  • 7 ounces white sugar (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Make the batter

    In a large mixing bowl, combine rice flour, tempura flour, shredded coconut, sugar, and sesame seeds. Create an opening in the middle, and slowly add ice-cold water while whisking to blend. Follow this up by adding in coconut milk and whisking.

  2. Slice and batter the bananas

    Cut the bananas into 3 thin slices each. Submerge all your banana slices into the prepared batter.

  3. Deep-fry the battered banana slices

    1. Place a large wok or deep-frying pan filled with oil over medium-low heat. If you have them, you can add fresh pandan for extra aroma, totally optional.
    2. Use kitchen tongs to dip the banana slices into the batter, making sure they're well-coated.
    3. Deep-fry the bananas, making sure not to overcrowd the pan, or you'll end up with a sticky mess. Flip regularly for even frying.
    4. Fry until golden-brown and crisp. Take them out and let them drain on a sieve or paper towel to get rid of excess oil.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 90


Amount Per Serving
Calories 72kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1.4g3%
Saturated Fat 0.8g4%
Total Carbohydrate 15.1g6%
Dietary Fiber 1.2g5%
Sugars 6.9g
Protein 0.8g2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Note
  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • If you can't find Thai bananas like 'kluay hom', 'namwa', or 'kluay kai', super-ripe plantains are a great alternative. The riper, the better for achieving that authentic Thai sweetness. If you use Thai bananas, they should be yellow.
  • If you're a sweet tooth, feel free to add more sugar.
  • If you use large bananas, use 10 instead of 20.
Keywords: Thai fried bananas recipe, fried bananas, deep fried bananas

Thank you so much for trying my recipe!