Turon (Banana Lumpia) With Caramel

Turon (Banana Lumpia) With Caramel

What is Turon?

Turon, sometimes called banana lumpia, is a popular sweet street treat in the Philippines. Eaten as a snack or a dessert, it is made of sliced saba bananas rolled in brown sugar, wrapped in lumpia or spring roll skin, deep-fried, then coated with hard caramel. In addition to the banana, it can often include other fillings like jackfruit, mango, coconut, ube, and even cheese.

The Ingredients

Saba bananas are native to the Philippines and are shorter and fatter than your standard banana. They are square in shape and starchier, thus making them perfect cooking bananas. Lumpia, found in the Philippines and Indonesia, are similar to spring rolls. Their wrappers, in comparison to spring roll wrappers, are usually circular, thinner, and more paper-like or crepey in texture. It can be difficult to source Saba bananas and lumpia wrappers, in which case you can easily substitute regular bananas and spring roll wrappers.

Make Ahead

Turon should be consumed the day they are made but can be prepped in advance and frozen for up to three months before deep frying.

“Wow, that crunch! This recipe is amazing for a dessert that isn’t overpoweringly sweet and tastes quite complex for such a simple recipe. I served mine with ube ice cream, which worked perfectly. The outcome of this recipe looks very impressive but is surprisingly simple to make.” —Cara Cormack 

Turon A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 8 lumpia or spring roll wrappers

  • 2 large bananas, preferably saba

  • 1 can jackfruit in syrup, optional

  • 1/2 cup (107 grams) dark brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons cool water

  • 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar, divided, for the caramel

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make Filipino Fried Banana rolls

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  2. Peel apart 8 lumpia wrappers and set aside. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap so they don't dry out.

    lumpia wrappers on a plate covered with plastic

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  3. Peel the bananas and cut them in half lengthwise and then in half crosswise, so you have 8 total pieces.

    sliced raw bananas on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  4. If using, drain the jackfruit from the syrup and place 4 pieces on top of a paper towel and pat them dry with another paper towel. Slice the jackfruit into quarter-inch strips.

    sliced jackfruit on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  5. Place the dark brown sugar in a shallow dish or bowl and set aside.

    dark brown sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  6. In a small dish, combine the cornstarch with the water and mix—this will be the glue to seal your turon.

    cornstarch and water in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  7. Take one lumpia wrapper and place it on your work surface (if it's square in shape, place it with the corner facing you, so it looks like a diamond).

    lumpia wrapper on a surface

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  8. Take one piece of banana, roll it in the brown sugar to coat, and then place it in the center of the wrapper about two inches up from the bottom.

    sliced banana on top of lumpia wrapper, covered with brown sugar

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  9. Top the banana with 4 slices of jackfruit, if using.

    brown sugar covered with bananas and jack fruit on lumpia wrapper

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  10. Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the fruit and roll upwards once.

    paritally wrapped banana in lumpia

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  11. Fold the sides inwards and continue to roll the rest of it up until there is about an inch of wrapper left.

    partially wrapped banana in lumpia wrapper

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  12. Using a pastry brush, paint the edge of the wrapper with the cornstarch mixture and finish rolling the turon. Repeat with the remaining wrappers, bananas, and jackfruit.

    banana wrapped in lumpia with a bowl of cornstarch mixture

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  13. In a medium pot heat the vegetable oil to 350 F.

    vegetable oil heating in a pan

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  14. Using a pair of tongs carefully lower the turon into the hot oil. Fry in two batches, so as to not overcrowd the pot. Fry for 2 minutes on each side or until browned and crisp.

    banana rolls frying in oil

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  15. Place them on a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes.

    fried banana rolls cooling on a rack

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  16. Once the turon have cooled for about 20 minutes, start making the caramel. Place half a cup of the sugar into a clean saucepan. (Make sure all your tools are clean for making the caramel so it doesn't crystallize).

    while sugar heating in a sauce pan

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  17. Heat on medium-high until the sugar starts to melt and turns amber in color. At this point, you can swirl the pot to incorporate any unmelted sugar granules.

    caramelized sugar in a sauce pan

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  18. Sprinkle the other half cup of sugar into the caramel a little at a time, swirling constantly until everything is melted and the caramel is clear dark amber brown. Turn off the heat.

    caramelized sugar in a saucepan

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

  19. Using a pair of tongs pick up one turon and dunk it in the caramel to coat. Place on top of a piece of parchment paper or a Silpat. Repeat with the other pieces. Let them set on the parchment until the caramel is hard, about 5 minutes. Enjoy immediately!

    Filipino fried banana rolls with caramel cooling on a silicone sheet

    The Spruce Eats/Cara Cormack

Tips

  • The utensils and pan used for making the caramel need to be clean with no specks or residue for the sugar to cling to, or it can crystallize.
  • Keep a close eye on the oil temperature during frying. Ideally, use a deep frying thermometer that clips to the side of the pan so you can be hands-free. Remember that the temperature of the oil will drop when you add the turon, so you may need to adjust the heat under the pan to keep the oil temperature stable.
  • Serve turon for dessert with a scoop of vanilla or ube ice cream for an extra special treat.

Recipe Variations

  • Substitute regular bananas and spring roll wrappers in place of the Saba bananas and lumpia.
  • Switch up the fillings and use mango, coconut, ube, or cheese.

How to Store

These are best the day they're made, but keep the leftover jackfruit refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Here are a few easy ways to use the remaining jackfruit:

  • Freeze it and add it to a smoothie.
  • Serve it with vanilla ice cream or yogurt.
  • Chop it and stir it into muffin or quick bread batter.

Make Ahead and Freeze

Prepare the turon ahead of time, but stop before deep-frying and freeze in a freezer-safe airtight container or zip-top freezer bag. They can be kept frozen for up to three months. You can fry the turon from frozen, adding a couple minutes to the frying time.

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