We dare say it—turon is the ultimate sweet Filipino snack. It's crunchy outer layer and soft banana (and/or langka) filling are a match made in heaven. And the fact that it's main ingredient is a fruit pretty much cancels out the amount of sugar that's in it, too. There are plenty of famous turons in the city, but Mang Tootz' bananarhum-a is at the top of the game, with a variation that elevates the flavor while maintaining a decent price.
Not everyone is as lucky the kids in U-Belt who have easy access to Mang Tootz for their turon fix. But we've got you—here's a bananarhum-a hack to make at the comfort of your own home. It was tricky to get right, so props to the guys at Mang Tootz for telling us what exactly goes into their signature dish.
FYI, the amount of rhum used here won't actually get you drunk!
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup powdered milk
- ½ tbsp cinnamon
- 4 saba bananas
- 12 small lumpia wrappers
- neutral oil, for frying
- ¼ cup margarine
- ¼ cup langka, shredded
- 2 tbsp banana flavoring
- ½ tsp banana extract
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp dark rum
- ¾ cup pineapple juice
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
Prepare toppings: Combine powdered sugar, powdered milk, and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.
Prepare turon: Preheat oil in a wok or large heavy-bottomed pot for frying. Prepare a heatproof plate lined with paper towels.
Cut saba into thirds lengthwise, then wrap each slice in lumpia wrappers. Fry in hot oil until golden brown, moving occasionally to prevent sticking. Once brown and crisp, remove turon from oil and set aside to drain on paper towels.
Make the sauce: Heat margarine in a large pot or wok over medium-high heat, followed by the langka. Cook until margarine is melted. Add banana flavoring, extract, cinnamon, and rum. Stir until well combined and then add in pineapple juice.
Cook sauce until langka is tender, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and mix, stirring constantly, to prevent lumps. Cook until sugar has dissolved and sauce is thickened, about 5–8 minutes.
Coat turon: Turn heat to high and add fried turon to the syrup. Toss turon using tongs until well-coated. Shower with sesame seeds and transfer to a plate.
Serve: Dust turon with powdered topping mixture. Serve hot.