by Malia Kirby L.Ac.
Over the weekend, hubbs and I tried out a Vietnamese place here in Boulder that we’ve been resisting for the past couple of years for a number of reasons. Part of it is sheer food Nazi traditionalism on my behalf as I’m a little offended by mutt versions of pho such as chicken, seafood, or vegetarian, where the rest of me…well…let’s just say that in my mind, if you want a good experience with a culture’s food, you pretty much have to get yourself to a place where that culture actually lives. Boulder may be many things, but it just isn’t the proverbial melting pot.
Anyway, I digress. Let me get back to the point, here. On the menu was a little something-something I’d like to modify for ourselves at home, a banana tempura with cinnamon gelato…and what follows from here is how I plan on getting that accomplished.
Baked Banana Tempura with Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Gelato
Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Gelato:
1 ¼ c whole milk
1 ¾ c plain Greek yogurt
½ c honey (optional or to taste if the yogurt is already sweetened)
3 t Saigon cinnamon
2 bananas, peeled
1 c ice water
1 c cake flour
1 c panko
Honey, for drizzling
Saigon cinnamon, for dusting
Fresh mint springs
Whisk the milk and Greek yogurt together in a medium-sized bowl until smooth, then whisk in the honey and the cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Transfer to the bowl of an ice-cream maker and follow machine instructions approximately 20-30 minutes prior to serving time.
Preheat the oven to 425°F and lightly grease a baking sheet with neutrally-flavored oil.
Slice the bananas length-wise, then again width-wise, resulting in each banana being quartered (the first cut would look like a circle where the second would look like…well…half of a banana). Set aside.
Whisk the egg and the ice water together in a small bowl, then gently stir in the cake flour with a chopstick or a butter knife. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Dip each piece of banana into the batter, roll in the panko crumbs, and place on the baking sheet. Repeat this process for each piece of banana.
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the panko crumbs turn golden brown, approximately 4-6 minutes, then flip the slices and bake an additional 4-6 minutes. Remove from oven.
Plate two pieces of banana “tempura” per plate, then lightly drizzle each portion with honey and a light dusting of Saigon cinnamon. Add one small scoop of the cinnamon “gelato” and garnish with a small sprig of mint, if desired. Serve immediately.
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