What is turon?
In the Philippines, turon is a spring roll filled with (over)ripe saba banana. As street food, they are sold along sidewalks by ambulant vendors who cook them on gas stoves set on rolling carts. Sold that way, turon is laced with plenty of brown sugar and filled with lots of langka (jackfruit) strips. Which makes it too sweet. Much too cloying for my taste.
Why cheese and banana make a better combo
Substituting strips of cheese for the langka gives turon a totally new flavor. The salty cheese softens inside the wrapper and blends wonderfully with the natural sweetness of the saba bananas. That’s why it’s so important to use very ripe bananas. Semi-ripe bananas are too firm and lack the right amount of sweetness.
Won’t the cheese ooze out during frying?
There are two tricks so that the cheese softens to the point of melting without oozing out of the wrapper.
First, make sure sure to seal the filling properly. That means not leaving both ends of the spring rolls open the way most street vendors do. Fold in the sides of the wrapper then moisten the edge to seal in the banana and cheese.
Second, after wrapping and sealing the rolls, sprinkle with a little corn starch, stack in a covered container and freeze for a few hours.
During frying the wrapper of the frozen turon will brown and turn crisp, the filling will get heated but not to the point where the cheese melts.
Banana and cheese spring rolls (turon)
- 4 saba bananas very ripe
- 150 to 200 grams cheese
- 8 spring roll wrappers
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- cooking oil for deep frying
- Peel the saba bananas and cut into halves lengthwise.
- Cut the cheese into thick sticks.
- Lay a spring roll wrapper flat with one corner facing you. Lay a banana half near the corner near you and top with a stick of cheese.
- Take the corner of the wrapper near you and fold over the banana and cheese.
- Lift one corner on the side and fold over the filling.
- Repeat with the opposite corner.
- Wet the remaining empty portion of the wrapper with a little water then continue rolling until the filling is sealed.
- Repeat with the rest of the banana halves, cheese and wrapper.
- Roll the uncooked turon in cornstarch, stack in a covered container and freeze for three hours or longer.
- Take the frozen turon out of the freezer and, without thawing, fry them in hot oil at least two inches deep.
- Roll them around in the oil until the entire surface of the turon are golden and crisp.
- Serve your turon with cheese immediately.