It’s the recipe for when you’ve checked the cupboards seventeen times and they’re nothing but disappointment. It’s there when a bag of Haribo hasn’t appeared out of thin air and the world quite clearly hates you. It’s the recipe for anyone who’s decidedly undomestic but wants to see their family’s collective jaw drop when you announce “I baked!”
These spicy Thai banana chips offer nearly instant gratification – five minutes to concoct, and a varying 13-25 minutes’ bake time. The result might be crispy… it might be a gummy sticky mess. It will be delicious, and you’ll make them five times a week for the rest of your life.
With full, and ever-grateful, credit to Chrissy Teigen, here are my two attempts at her Spicy Thai Banana Chips.
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Chrissy Teigen’s Spicy Thai Banana Chips
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Spicy Thai Banana Chips – with ripe, not green bananas
While Chrissy’s recipe requests an “unripe, very hard, basically inedible green banana” … this is not the year to go to the supermarket on a passing whim. (Unless, perhaps, you want to show off your new dragonfruit face mask). You want snacks … you hunt your cupboards and you use what you’ve got. What had I got? “Slightly green” (90% yellow) bananas, that remained green only at the stem. Fine. Let’s do this.
- 1 green banana (I used three very yellow bananas – see below*)
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon finely ground chillies or chilli flakes (see note**)
A few tips:
To melt your coconut oil, put the tablespoon in a metal mixing bowl and set it inside another bowl of hot water. Once you’ve prepared your other ingredients, it will be melted.
**Chilli flakes – I used a quarter teaspoon of chilli flakes, rather than Chrissy’s suggested half teaspoon. I’d rather add more if necessary than end up with food I don’t want to eat. For me, the quarter teaspoon of chilli flakes was just the round amount for a light kick but not a full wallop of spicy. (If you’re familiar with the phrase ‘farang spicy’ (foreigner spicy), and know that that’s your place on earth, stay closer to the quarter teaspoon. Chrissy is half-Thai so she’s got powers that I lack.
These cook at 400°F – the same as baking or roasting sweet potatoes – so it’s a good recipe to double up when you’re making something else.
1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C)
2. Slice your bananas as thinly as possible – ideally like paper. How to slice a ripe banana? You won’t get very thin slices (as in Chrissy’s photo) once a banana is 90% yellow, so I chopped it in quarter-inch intervals and hoped for the best. However, if your bananas are any riper you’ll make a mush when stirring with the oil mixture.
*How many bananas? Chrissy’s recipe calls for one banana but, if yours are quite small, you could probably add quite a few. I just kept adding to my mixing bowl until all the liquid was distributed – about three medium bananas.
Portion control? As you’ll inhale these in under two minutes – I’ll uncharacteristically advise some portion control. Three bananas sliced on a tray doesn’t look like enough for two people … but eating more than 1.5 bananas each can’t be necessary. (Can it? Can I eat five bananas a day? Because I will). As such, my advice is to cap yourself at 1.5 bananas per person because if you turn the whole bunch into banana chips you will eat them.
3. Mix everything together – gently, so as not to create the aforementioned mush – and then spread on a baking tray. A non-stick baking mat is wonderful here – as you’re baking sugar with more sugar, you don’t want to ruin your tray with a pool of charcoal glue.
4. When your oven’s ready (again, 400°F or 205°C), pop the baking tray in but don’t wander far. I’ve found that the baking period requires an amount of audience participation.
Baking time: Chrissy suggests a baking time of 13-14 minutes, with perhaps another minute or two more if needed. With riper, thickly sliced bananas like mine your cooking time will exceed Chrissy’s recommended 13-14 minutes by … a good long while. I kept adding time in three-minute increments and eventually clocked in around the half-hour mark.
5. Hover like a true Helicopter Parent and check on your baking babies constantly. (To prevent burning, flip them when you start to see colour on the underside. The flipping process is oddly soothing, especially with three or more bananas’ worth of slices to flip).
Ripe banana results: They smell incredible. Crispy? Not really. More like a yummy, gummy snack than a crispy chip but extremely delicious and packed with flavour. I could demolish this entire plate – three bananas gone in an instant.
Spicy Thai Banana Chips – with nearly green bananas and coconut sugar
For my second batch, I was determined to follow the recipe with “basically inedible green banana[s]”. I hunted down the greenest, meanest bananas you ever did see … and then left them overnight. As it’s so hot, by the next morning they had already turned yellow. So I still don’t know the magic of green – but I can highly recommend “formerly green, recently yellow” bananas.
Coconut sugar experiment: For an extra dose of “Thai tastiness”, I tried my second batch with coconut sugar. It has a lower burn point than white sugar so you’ll need to watch them closely but I preferred the quicker caramelisation and added burny-stickiness.
Cook time: Perhaps my oven differs from Chrissy’s, but I can’t achieve “banana chips” in 13 minutes. Around 20-25 minutes gives me “crispy edges”, though the middles are more gummy/chewy. Other banana chip recipes want you to bake them at 200°F (93°C) for two hours, and flip them halfway through. Ain’t nobody got time for that. We’ll stick with this recipe – it’s delicious, whatever comes out of the oven.
An added benefit of Batch Two is that, by now, I’ve got the recipe memorised so I was able to make them in under five minutes – into my tummy in under thirty.
By a zillion, million miles – THIS is my new favourite snack.
Thank you, Chrissy, I’m Powered by Potassium from now until forever and very grateful.
Got more feelings to eat?
- Make this 2-ingredient Thai coconut shake (and then add some rum)
- Try these favourite Thai cookbooks (ideal for more! time! at! home!)
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