Filipino Fried Banana Lumpia with Caramel (Turon)

Turon, the saba-filled crispy Filipino spring roll, is one of the best ways to enjoy bananas. Here's two ways to make it.
Difficulty
Medium
Servings
4–6 servings
Prep Time
15 Mins
Active Time
30 Mins

Making turon, the classic Filipino street snack, sounds simple in theory: it’s a banana-stuffed spring roll deep-fried in sugary oil. But you’ll be surprised by the many ways homemade turon can go wrong, from wrappers tearing mid-fry to burnt, spotty caramel. Here are a few tips for an easier and less stressful turon-making session.

Tips for Better Turon at Home

Use Spring Roll Wrappers

For our turon recipe, we tested two kinds of lumpia wrappers to see if they made a difference.

Most recipes use the round, thin lumpia wrappers often found in the palengke. While these gave the turon a delicate crunch, they were quite fragile and tricky to wrap with.

On the other hand, the square wonton or spring roll wrappers from the supermarket felt sturdier. They tore much less while rolling and frying. We liked how the wrappers struck a balance between thin enough to come out crunchy, yet thick enough to hold its contents.

Pat Your Langka Dry

If you’re using bottled langka, make sure to pat the pieces dry thoroughly with a paper towel. Excess moisture may cause your lumpia wrappers to tear or burst while frying.

Roll Fast!

Once you’ve rolled your first turon, work fast and don’t keep it waiting. The longer your rolled turon sits uncooked, the more moisture it collects in the wrapper. And as mentioned, more moisture = more chances of tearing. For insurance, you can use two wrappers per turon, but it might come out on the chewy side after frying.

Use Hot Oil

Before frying, make sure your oil is hot—at least 350°F in an instant read thermometer. At lower temperatures, your turon will soak up the oil and come out soggy.

To test oil without a thermometer, tear a small piece of wrapper and drop it into the oil. If it bubbles happily on contact, you’re ready to fry.

Turon-Caramel.jpg

Classic Turon with Brown Sugar Caramel Coat

Traditional turon is caramelized by adding sugar to the frying oil, which forms a sweet, crunchy coating around the turon. It’s an advanced step best left to street food veterans, as it can produce erratic results: either the turon doesn’t fry evenly, the sugar isn’t evenly distributed, or both.

Our non-traditional method gives you more control over the caramel coating. First, fry your turon in regular non-sugary oil. This ensures that each piece gets a uniform crispy, golden fry.

Next, prepare some caramel using the same oil plus some sugar. Once it cooks into the hard-crack stage, toss your fried turon in to coat. The caramel will cool and encase the turon in a crunchy candy coating.

Makes 4 servings.

Classic Turon with Brown Sugar Caramel

  • 6 saba bananas
  • 6 large lumpia wrappers
  • 6 slices bottled langka (jackfruit)
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
1

Prepare for frying: Preheat oil in a wok or deep skillet to 350°F. Meanwhile, pat dry 6 pieces of langka with a paper towel.

2

Assemble turon: Set a piece of lumpia wrapper on a chopping board or clean work surface. Place a whole piece of saba at the center. Top with a slice of langka, then wrap into a tight log. Repeat with the remaining fruit and wrappers until you get 6 pieces.

3

Fry turon: Fry turon in hot oil, working in batches if necessary. Cook until golden brown, moving and turning occasionally to prevent sticking. Transfer cooked turon to a heatproof plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.

4

Make sugar coating: Line a separate tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Remove oil from the wok or pan until you have about ¼ cup left. Add brown sugar in an even layer. Melt sugar completely over medium heat without stirring—if needed, swirl the sugar by moving the pan. Continue cooking until it reaches a dark amber color or temperature registers 300–310°F in an instant-read thermometer.

5

Coat turon: Quickly add turon into the caramel and turn to coat using tongs. Transfer coated turon onto the prepared tray. Let cool until the caramel has completely set and hardened over the turon. Serve.

Caramelized Saba & Langka Turon

This alternative leans closer to a dessert lumpia than a traditional turon. The caramel doesn't coat the turon here—instead, it's cooked with the saba and langka, creating a jammy, flavorful caramelized fruit filling to fold into wrappers.

Makes 5–6 servings.

Caramelized Saba & Langka Turon

  • 1 pack small lumpia wrappers
  • 5–6 saba bananas
  • ¾ cup fresh or bottled langka (jackfruit)
  • ¼ cup brown or muscovado sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup brandy, optional
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • neutral oil, for frying
1

Prepare fruit: Slice bananas and langka into strips. Set aside.

2

Flambé brandy: Add brandy, if using, to a pan over medium-high heat.

Before flambéing, clear any flammable objects away from the stove. Make sure to stand at a safe distance from the pan.

If using a gas burner, tilt the pan away from you to make contact with the flame underneath. Alternatively, use a long-reach lighter or match to ignite the brandy. Turn off the heat and let the flame die down on its own. Do not blow on the flame to extinguish it; cover the pan with a lid if needed.

3

Cook bananas and langka: Add butter, water, and sugar to the same pan. Heat over medium-low, stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until sugar is completely dissolved. Add sliced bananas and chopped langka. Cook until tender, stirring gently to avoid crushing the fruit, no more than 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool.

4

Drain fruit: Pass the caramelized saba and langka through a sieve to drain any excess liquid. This is to prevent the lumpia wrapper from getting soggy and tearing while frying.

5

Assemble turon: Prepare one lumpia wrapper on a chopping board. Spoon caramelized saba and langka at the center of the wrap. Fold, roll, and brush the edges of the lumpia wrapper with water to seal. Repeat with remaining fruit and lumpia wrappers. Chill assembled turon in the fridge before frying, at least 10 minutes.

6

Fry turon: Add enough oil in a wok or heavy-bottomed pot for deep frying. Heat oil over medium until an instant-read thermometer registers 350°F. Lower chilled turon in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer fried turon to a metal rack or plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.

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