Fried Cocoy bananaJump to Recipe
I’m so excited to share these two amazing recipes with you. The first is deep-fried cocoy banana, and the other is coconut ice cream. This past weekend, it was all about preparing fun food for my family.
A little about cocoy
Cocoy comes from the banana family. It resembles the cavendish variety but stumpier, and it has more of a creamy flavor. It’s often referred to as burro banana in Mexico and saba in the Philippines. In Dominica, it’s affectionately known as cocoy.
When I was growing up, cocoy wasn’t as common as plantain or the regular bananas, but it was certainly more common in Dominica than it is right now. My mother often prepared it boiled (ripe or green) and, sometimes, roasted. We rarely ate it without a fire treatment like roasting, boiling, sometimes frying, since it wasn’t as sweet as the regular banana. It seems to be the outcast in the trio, with the plantain and banana. It’s no fault of cocoy since it didn’t always fit the mold, and just wasn’t as marketable for selling and consumption on the island.
In the early 80’s my parents were hucksters, one of the many roles they took on to make sure that we had a great upbringing. They traveled on boats from Portsmouth to St. Marteen, Antigua, Anguilla, Monserrat, St. Barts, St. Kitts and other Caribbean islands to sell Dominica’s local produce. They would scour the entire North from Paix Bouche, Penville to Bourne, searching for foods like avocados, yams, dasheen, tania, mangoes, babawoolay, plantains, bananas, and other food items. Cocoy didn’t seem to make the list. It wasn’t because cocoy couldn’t last the week’s voyage at sea. It was just that cocoy wasn’t the favorite of the bunch even within the Caribbean, and never got the recognition it deserved.
My reintroduction to cocoy banana
I want to change that sentiment and recently introduced cocoy to my family. The specie that I got here in California may not be as large as the ones in Dominica, but it was just what I needed to share beautiful memories with my family. So I created fried cocoy banana (ripe) with panko breadcrumbs and coconut ice cream. I often use this recipe for plantains, but wanted to make cocoy just as tasty. I also added the coconut ice cream.
The coconut ice cream idea originated from a generous gift from a dear friend, who gifted me with an ice cream tub, that helped me make my own delicious healthy ice cream. It was unexpected and came in at the right time. I was able to pair the cocoy with excellent natural coconut ice cream (2 members of my family opted for vanilla). This wonderful coconut flavor also brought back sweet memories of growing up in Dominica. My family owned a wooden ice cream tub, and coconut ice cream was our best seller. When our tub was out of commission, we started making coconut ice pop. This ice cream and this deep-fried sweet cocoy banana was just a happy marriage on all levels.
I’ll share both recipes with you and hope that you can recreate them.
Fried cocoy banana
- saucepan or deep fryer
- Bamboo skewers
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 7 cocoy banana
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cup Panko breadcrumbs you can also use regular breadcrumbs
- 5 cups oil vegetable, or corn, not olive
- Peel cocoys
- Mix eggs and cinnamon in a bowl
- Dip cocoy in mixture, then coat in the panko breadcrumbs
- Heat oil at medium heat
- Place cocoy in hot oil
- Turn with a tong
- Remove from pan when golden brown
- Add sticks to add fun to the experience
Coconut recipe inspired by Heather Cristo
Coconut ice cream
- Freezing tub
- 1 14- ounce can unsweetened coconut cream
- 1 14- ounce can unsweetened coconut milk full fat
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract You can also use vanilla bean
- 1 cup sugar cane
- ½ teaspoon salt
- In a small pot, combine the coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut flakes, vanilla and sugar with the dash of salt.
- Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and stir for about 3-5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.
- Take the pot off of the heat and let sit until it has cooled, stirring often to hasten the process. Strain the mixture into a bowl, pressing all of the liquid out of the coconut flakes.
- Discard the coconut flakes and refrigerate tub base until cold. (By the way you could keep the flaked coconut in the sorbet if you like the texture!)
- Freeze the coconut liquid in a machine according to manufacturers directions, or even just place in a tupperwear or metal loaf-pan and put straight into the freezer.
- Let freeze at least 4 hours and up to overnight, and then scoop and serve with fresh berries. I left mine for 12 hours.