Banana Compote in Coconut Milk

timemed skilllow budgetlow

This is a popular dessert in South East Asia. I’ve seen it in restaurants specialising in Thailand, Indonesian or Vietnamese cuisine albeit with slight variations, and I myself grew up eating it. It is extremely easy to make and the recipe below has been adjusted so it is easier to find all of the ingredients if you don’t live in Asia.


Essential components:
• Banana, I like using a slightly underripe (but not raw banana)
• Coconut milk
• Brown sugar (traditionally palm sugar)

Other components:
• Salt
• Vanilla extract (traditionally pandan leaf or pandan extract)
• Lime leaf (optional)

• Cut the banana into larger chunks
• In a pot, add coconut milk, water, brown sugar, lime leaf (if using), vanilla extract, and a pinch of sugar- cook on medium-low heat (do not let the coconut milk boil or the cream will split) and taste- adjust if necessary
• When all the sugar dissolved and you’re happy with the sweetness, add the banana and cook briefly only to warm the banana
• Serve either warm or chilled with ice

Tips and thoughts:
• I have seen this dish also includes sweet potato, cassava and palm seeds. If you want to include sweet potato or cassava, it is best to pre-steam them and just add them in the end so you don’t have to worry about the different cooking times
• If you prefer your banana to be softer, feel free to cook it longer, I personally don’t like mushy banana. I found just lightly cooking the banana into the syrup in the end is the consistency I like the most


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