Oven-baked bananas are certainly one of the iconic dishes of Gabonese cuisine. Crispy and tasty, they are traditionally eaten with dessert, as an accompaniment or just as a snack. The locals are very fond of it and do not hesitate to add brown sugar to make them even more decadent. Also, they are usually served with sour cream.
What are Gabonese oven-baked bananas?
Oven-baked bananas are a common dish in Africa. However, this dessert is not confined geographically to the African continent. Indeed, it is found in other parts of the world where bananas grow in abundance. This is the case for the Caribbean region and South Asia. Also, no one knows with exactness the origin of this dish that is so widespread.
The cuisine of Gabon, a country in Central Africa, is mainly based on dishes made with products from the land and bush meat. There are therefore several dishes based on plantain, cassava, chili and African eggplant.
What is unique about oven-baked bananas?
Oven-baked bananas combine the crispy side of breadcrumbs with the soft side of baked bananas. Adding orange juice to the egg yolk adds a touch of acidity that balances the sweetness of the caramelized bananas. Plus, this is a simple and easy recipe to make. That’s why they are a great snack anytime of the day.
Another variation of baked bananas is to replace the breadcrumbs with crushed peanut or coconut shavings.
Be sure to immerse the breadcrumb-coated bananas in the hot oil. If the oil has not reached the right temperature, the breadcrumbs may fall apart in the pan as soon as the bananas are dipped. Then the bananas would absorb too much oil, which would make the dish difficult to digest.
Baking in the oven will help dry out the breadcrumbs and make the bananas crisp. But this step mainly allows the bananas to soften and caramelize.
Banana-based dishes all around the world
Cooked banana dishes are very popular around the world. Here are some of the most popular:
Oven-baked bananas are a traditional Gabonese dessert consisting of fried slices of breaded banana which are then baked in the oven before being sprinkled with brown sugar, and served with sour cream.
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3½ oz fresh breadcrumbs
- 4 bananas
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 4 tablespoons soft brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- Baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C).
- Pour the oil into a skillet over a medium-high heat.
- Place the breadcrumbs into a shallow dish.
- Peel each banana, cut in half widthways, then in half again, lengthways.
- Beat the egg together with the orange juice in a medium-sized bowl.
- Dip each banana quarter into this mixture, and then roll in the breadcrumbs.
- Fry for 2 minutes or so on each side, until the breadcrumbs have become golden.
- Remove from the oil, and drain on some paper towels.
- Transfer the fried bananas to a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the brown sugar.
- Serve immediately with sour cream.