If you’re bananas about bananas, then being in Malaysia will definitely feed your addiction.
There are so many varieties here that even locals have a hard time naming them all. From tiny dwarf-like ones to giants as big as your arm, bananas should come with a manual.
Here’s Butterkicap’s list of popular Malaysian bananas. Some are good eaten when ripe, most are fantastic deep-fried and all make delicious fried mashed banana balls (Cekodok) when over-ripe.
With a bright yellow skin, sweet flavour and smooth texture, Pisang Raja can be eaten fresh or fried.
Pisang Raja Udang
This variety of banana is difficult to find and looks particularly unique due to its purple to rusty orange skin. The flesh itself is similar in colour to other varieties of banana with a sweet and slightly sour flavour.
Pisang Lemak Manis
This banana is petite, bright yellow, sweet and fleshy. It is good eaten ripe. This variety can be planted and will be fully grown within four months.
This giant of a banana is fantastic to make as Pengat Pisang. With a slightly sour flavour, it balances perfectly with the sweetness of dark brown sugar and the saltiness in coconut.
Similar to Pisang Tanduk, this banana is also rather huge. The difference is in its flavour and colour – it is not sour and the flesh is pale compared to the darker yellow of the Pisang Tanduk.
This banana is also good to make Pengat especially for those who do not like the hint of the sourness of Pisang Tanduk.
Unlike other bananas, this variety remains green in colour even when ripe. Once it turns yellow, the banana is considered over-ripe and the flesh too soft to be eaten. At this point you can mash it up to make Cekodok. This variety is good when battered and deep-fried.
Similar to Pisang Tanduk, the flavour is sweet and slightly sour. Other things you can make with Pisang Nangka include Pengat Pisang, Lepat Pisang and Pisang Rebus.
Delicious when ripe, Pisang Rastali is commonly enjoyed after a meal as dessert. While the skin is not as pretty, often peppered with dark spots, it is thin, with a wonderful aroma and sweet flesh inside.
Petite in size, Pisang Emas is also commonly eaten after a meal once ripe. When over-ripe, you will find that thew32 skin sticks to the flesh inside. At this point, it is best made into Cekodok.
This variety of banana is not usually eaten ripe due to its mild flavour and often rubbery texture.
Sweet, with a lovely aroma, this banana is great enjoyed as a dessert when ripe. Its firm flesh makes it perfect for deep-frying.
Banana recipes you’ll love
Here are some banana treats and the best bananas to use for it. You can probably use different varieties of bananas but these are Butterkicap’s favourites.
- Curry – Pisang Abu, PIsang Lemak Manis
- Pengat – Pisang Tanduk, Pisang Helang
- Lepat – Pisang Awak
- Goreng – Pisang Awak, Pisang Berangan, Pisang Raja
- Rebus – Pisang Awak
This article first appeared in butterkicap.com
Butterkicap is a food and culture platform and community that enables anyone to experience Malaysia through stories of her people, food and places.