We have a banana problem in the mainland U.S.
They are all the same.
I find that many people are surprised to learn that there is more than one kind of banana. The size, flavor, and texture of the bananas in our supermarkets have engrained in us that there is only one fruit that can be called a banana.
I was always amazed by the many varieties of bananas we had access to in Brazil. The tables at the farmers market were always loaded with short, fat, long, skinny, and just about every other shape and size of banana.
Each had its own flavor, too.
Some were drier and starchier, others soft, and sweet. Very few tasted like the large bananas that we get in the U.S., most often from Central and South America. They grew those were we lived in Brazil, too.
Every now and then, I see a few bunches of a different type of banana in the international section of our supermarkets. Occasionally, I pick up a bunch to see how they compare to the varieties I know from Brazil.
My supermarket labeled these Thai bananas. That’s pretty unhelpful considering Thailand has about as many varieties of bananas as Brazil.
My Brazilian friend agreed that they most closely resembled Banana-maçã, apple banana. You can also find these in Hawaii.
Despite relating them back to my experiences in Brazil, I wanted to use them in a recipe that I loosely tied back to their Thai name. So I decided to make an oatmeal with coconut milk and then add a savory note of curry flavor to balance out the sweetness of the coconut milk along with some honey.
On top? The bananas sliced and skillet fried in virgin coconut oil until warm.
This turned out to be an excellent twist on a standard oatmeal. If you don’t have Thai bananas, don’t let that prevent you from making it. While they add a nice touch, the recipe will work with any type of banana. You can also prepare old-fashioned oats if you prefer to skip making steel-cut.
Coconut Curry Oatmeal with Fried Thai Bananas and Honey
Makes 1 serving
What you’ll need:
1 cup water
1/4 cup steel-cut oats
3 tablespoons coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch fine sea salt
1 teaspoon honey for serving
2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil
1 Thai banana, sliced
How to make it:
Stir together the water and oats in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes. Cook until the oats thicken and reach your desired texture and consistency. About 2 minutes before the oats are done, stir in the coconut milk. Remove from the heat and stir in the curry powder, cinnamon, and salt.
While the oatmeal cooks, melt the coconut oil in a medium skillet. Add the banana slices and cook about 1 minute on each side, until golden brown.
Pour the oatmeal into a serving bowl. Top with bananas and drizzle with honey before enjoying warm.