Today we feature fried banana fritters, Cambodian-style. Found throughout South East Asia, banana desserts are extremely popular and surely golden fried banana fritters are the most popular banana dessert of all. So much so it has been well and truly exported all over the world so we can enjoy the golden, crisp batter and the sweet treat inside.
Our Cambodian version of fried banana fritters contains no hard to find ingredients. The batter is a little lighter than most as it contains rice flour and also contains sesame seeds. Drizzled with honey just before serving, it is certain to become a family favorite as it appeals to people of all ages.
Cambodia is a country we deeply love, especially after the horrors the country has been through in the last 50 years. If ever a people were deserving of a change in fortune it is Cambodians. Today we also cover off the extraordinary, social enterprise work being undertaken to help the youth of the country develop skills and opportunities for jobs and developing new businesses.
Common throughout Cambodia and Laos, we feature 2 social enterprise restaurants deserving of your attention and tourist dollars. Please read on.
The Haven (Siem Reap)
A social enterprise providing training and skills for disadvantaged kids, The Haven is very popular. The Fisk Amok, the national dish of Cambodia, is brilliant. While it is hard to pick, I would say it is the best version we ate on the whole trip.
While not big on desserts (can you tell as we seldom have one on the site), I do love a good cheesecake, but I admit I am very picky as to what good cheesecake is. The Oreo cheesecake at the Haven was a highlight. So if you like cheesecake, give it a try.
Other recommendations: the salt and pepper calamari, mixed satay, and the Beef lok lak. The restaurant has a wine list and wine was reasonable. Dinner including a bottle of wine, two starters, two mains and dessert, was about $30 USD.
Book early if you would like to go. The Haven is busy and it was hard to organise a reservation. We booked early and went the last night we were in Siem Reap. Take cash, The Haven does not accept credit cards. (And I may as well mention you should consider spending cash in Cambodia as many places do not accept credit cards and the ATM machines dispense USD.)
Romdeng (Phnom Penh)
It was excellent food and the restaurant is very well partronized. Make a reservation, you can book online for this restaurant if that is more convenient. The restaurant is large with inside and outside dining.
The portions are also large. The food was served all at once (which is not uncommon) which really made us realize we had ordered way too much food. Still the total bill was $50 including a bottle of wine. And that included coffee and dessert.
Romdeng serves half-portions which is plenty for two people. Some suggestions: Khmer-style fish ceviche, the young lotus root salad with chicken, and fried spring rolls. If you aren’t familiar with South East Asian salads they are fantastic in all of South East Asia (Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand). Other popular salads from the region include green mango, green papaya, banana flower, and cassava.
If you are game, you can try the deep fired tarantulas!
We love social enterprises. You can read about Siem Reap-based, social enterprise businesses around local arts and crafts here. Please support these businesses, it is just a good thing to do.
And now onto the recipe for fried banana fritters.
Cambodian Golden Fried Banana Fritters
Want a dessert prepared and cooked in 15 minutes that is a little bit gourmet and will appeal to all family members?
These fried banana fritters from Cambodia fit the bill. No hard to source ingredients here. I drizzle honey over at the end and good also with ice cream (although not strictly what is done in Cambodia). A little lighter than some versions with the addition of rice flour.
Please enjoy these fried banana fritters from Cambodia.