Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Waffling Leftovers: Turon (Banana Lumpia)

As you know, I waffle a lot of leftovers.  (Wait, you didn't know that?  Go read my master post, and then return here.  I'm not going to bore my regular readers with my preamble about waffling leftovers).

While I waffle everything from fresh figs, to mashed taro, to pizza, to tuna noodle casserole, and just about everything in-between, desserts are a category I waffle less frequently than others.  Which, is interesting really, given that actual waffles are generally rather dessert-like, and, uh I eat a lot of dessert.  I guess most desserts just don't last long enough to waffle when I'm around.

Anyway, this time, I went for dessert.  Filipino dessert.  Turon.

You can also call it banana lumpia.  Or turrón de banana.  Or turrón de plátano.  Or lumpiyang saging.  Call it whatever you want.  I'll go with turon since it is the shortest.  It is a Philippine street food, usually a deep fried spring roll filled with sliced bananas and jackfruit, although more adventurous filling like sweet potato, mango, coconut, and cheddar cheese can also join the fun.
Turon Transformation: Original -> Leftovers -> Waffle!
We had a special Filipino dinner at my office, with turon as the final course.  It was fantastic when fresh, but, this was not an item that held up well at all.  Which I knew.  Yet I still saved one.  For science.  Or, er, you, my dear readers.

Leftover Turon: Will it Waffle?  YES!  This one goes firmly in the success bucket, and was one of my biggest salvations to date, taking something that was basically soggy and gross into something wonderful.
The Original: Fresh Fried Turon with Coconut Caramel.
The original was fantastic, made only with banana inside, and drizzled with coconut caramel. 

It was served fresh out of the fryer, nice and warm.  The exterior was a crispy spring roll wrapper, inside was a sweet warm mushy banana, and it had absolutely decadent coconut caramel drizzled over it.  I dunked the first one in plenty of caramel, couldn't resist returning for another, which I dunked into whipped cream too, but, it didn't actually need any of these additions.

Hot and fresh, this was glorious.
Leftover, Soggy, Turon.
The leftovers however, were not glorious.  A fried spring roll wrapper does not hold up, particularly when it was drizzled with caramel already.

The leftovers were extremely soggy.  The wrapper was shriveled and soggy.  It was incredibly unappealing.

I tried a bite of one, and my suspicions were confirmed.  This was not tasty.  The banana inside was now hard and brown, and the wrapper, yeah.  I tried heating it up in the toaster oven, which made things a bit better, but, barely.

I had only one choice of what to do with the next one.
Into the waffle iron ...
Into the waffle iron it went.

I didn't bother scrape the caramel off, I knew that would caramelized up on the outside again, and make it even crispier.  I didn't crust it or do anything.  Just stuck it in, mushed down the lid.

350° was my setting of choice, fairly arbitrary, but generally my default unless I know I need to sear.
Grilling ...
I checked on it a few minutes in, and things looked good.  It even looked like a waffle.
Looks like a waffle!
It extracted with no problem.

It would have been fine to eat it like this (which, of course I did sneak a bite).  But I wanted to do more.
Complete with Whipped Cream!
I topped it with whipped cream.  Because I could.  Because whipped cream makes everything better.  Was it necessary?  Nah.  And did I later add ice cream too?  Yup.  Keep reading.

The exterior was crispy from both the spring roll that re-crisped, and the caramel.  As I hoped, the caramel melted off, pooled up in the waffle grills, and then redistributed itself onto it, and crisped up as it cooled slightly.  Very successful exterior, and impressive even to me after all this waffling, to see something transform from soggy grossness into crispy goodness.

Inside was now soft, molten, mushy banana again.  Who cares that it was brown?

It reminded me of deep fried bananas.  Which, I always have with ice cream.  So I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream too.

ZOMG.  Crispy exterior, fried goodness, sweet soft banana, contrasting hot and cold, crispy and creamy ... it was fantastic.

Complete success, and I highly recommend this one.  For, uh, when you have some leftover turon?  (I bet it would work fine with savory spring rolls too ...)
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