This baby banana recipe is vegan, gluten-free and easy to make. All you need are four ingredients to make this delicious, fulling side dish.
Types of Bananas
You can get many types of bananas in the Caribbean.
Cavendish bananas are what we get at the farmers’ market. They are the most popular type and are big, yellow and thick-skinned.
You may know silk bananas (or silk fig as we call it) as plum, apple or pineapple figs. These bananas are small, sweet, and have a whiter flesh than the Cavendish bananas.
Then, there are the even smaller, thin-skinned, yellow bananas that are sweet and tasty. These are called sucrier or bird’s fig according to the The Oxford Companion to Food. I’ve seen them called baby bananas too, but, in the Caribbean, we call them chiquito fig or sikiye fig.
Chiquito figs are my favorite bananas because they are incredibly sweet and have this creamy, slightly vanilla-like taste when ripe. It’s so good.
Of course, there are many other subspecies of bananas (I think there are thousands). Gros Michel, moko, and plantains are popular types in the Caribbean too… But, we’ll talk about them and ways to cook them another time.
Baby Banana Recipe: Boil and Fry Chiquito
You can use almost-ripe, half-ripe and unripe baby bananas to make this recipe.
Unripe (or green) chiquito will have a starchy, savory taste.
Half-ripe bananas will give you are sweeter flavor and almost ripe figs will be quite sweet and delicious!
I prefer almost ripe figs for this recipe. Here’s what I used:
To start this recipe, cut the bananas from the stem and wash them thoroughly. Add them to a pot of boiling water with their skin in tact.
Boil until the skin splits apart. This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. If your bananas are ripe, it is important to remove them from the heat quickly since they can become mushy when overboiled (they still taste great though!).
Once done, drain the bananas and allow to cool.
Peel the bananas. You can cut them up and serve them as is for a wonderful, sweet complex carb. I love adding them to salads too.
Ok back to the recipe.
To a pot, add a tablespoon of oil (I usually use coconut oil). Sauté chopped onions before adding in grated garlic. You can also throw in your favorite spicy peppers too.
Next, mix in the bananas. Add another tablespoon of oil if you need to prevent the figs from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Turn occasionally for a minute. That’s it; you are done!
Boil and fried baby bananas figs can replace your common carb dishes like rice, bread and pasta. Serve this baby banana recipe with sautéed veggies and a protein for a healthy, flavorful meal.
Prepared saltfish is sometimes added to this dish too.
Boil and Fry Baby Banana Recipe
Boil and Fry Baby Bananas
- 2 lbs baby bananas
- 1-2 tablespoons oil (like coconut)
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- pepper (optional)
- Separate baby bananas from stem and wash thoroughly.
- Add to a pot of boiling water.
- Boil until the peels of the bananas split (this can take 15 – 30 minutes).
- Strain and allow to cool.
- Remove the banana peels and set aside.
- To a pot, add oil and sauté chopped onions until translucent.
- Add grated garlic and cook until onions and garlic are brown.
- Mix in bananas.
- Add more oil if the bananas begin to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- After a minute or two, remove from heat.
- Serve hot.