Kuih kodok (fried banana fritters)

I have very fond memories of my mother making these for me as a child — she’d mix up the batter, fry up these cakes, lay them gently on a plate lined with a paper towel, and then admonish me to only take the ones that had cooled to a safe temperature. She never made them very often, since fried food wasn’t the healthiest thing for a five year old, but they were a delicious treat when she did.

There are plenty of fancy recipes online that involve different kinds of flours and more complex techniques, but here’s the plain and simple version that I know. My mom isn’t entirely satisfied with her recipe, and I have to say even with the few tweaks we discussed over the phone, neither am I, but this is a fine introduction to the snack. A quick Google of the name will give you other options to try.

I first thought erroneously that this was the snack called pisang goreng (“fried banana”), but that is a different treat where the banana is sliced, battered and deep fried, keeping the original shape of the banana. In this form (with the banana mashed into the batter) it is named kuih kodok, which, literally translated, means “toad cake” due to the bumpy surface of the fritter.

Pisang goreng is also a Malay idiom that means something is in demand — perhaps something like the English phrase “selling like hotcakes”!

Kuih kodok, “toad cake”
Adapted from my mom 🙂

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • Roughly 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Additional water
  • Oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar

Directions

  • Mash bananas, and beat in egg.
  • Add 1 cup flour and mix, continue adding flour in tablespoons until the batter is thick.
  • Mix in sugar and baking powder. Add water if batter appears too thick.
  • In a small pan filled with hot oil, deep-fry the fritters. I used a very small amount of oil (about 1/2″ depth), which I believe made the fritters less bumpy on the outside. After frying the first batch, taste them and make sure the cakes are sweet enough for your liking (depends on the sugar content of your bananas), and add in more sugar to the batter as desired.
  • Once the are golden brown, take out of the oil and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and eat immediately. Be sure to eat them before they get cold — the fritter will toughen as it cools.
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