Banana Chips Technolgy, Including Root Crops

The main material for making banana chips is raw saba banana. Ripe has increased sugar which makes the middle of slices go brown before the entire slice turn crispy. It also has lower starch and higher moisture content which makes cooking difficult. I think turning it to crisp is impossible.

Any cooking banana can be made into chips. Eating bananas are not. Saba are cooking bananas while latundan, lakatan and cavendish are eating bananas. Want to know their differences aside from the very obvious shape? In both ripe conditions, cooking bananas hold it shape during boiling while eating bananas do not. The latter become saggy.

Because it is made of raw banana, many producers add commercially available banana flavor. It’s a bit odd but true. Buy some properly labeled chips there and you will see… I felt nostalgic about the training I conducted. The seminar organizer asked me why my cooking tasted like raw banana. My answer was obvious. No need to mention.  Additional flavoring prevents this cases from occurring.

Use separate oil batches for first and second frying. The latter absorbs sugars which burns in subsequent use. Both oil batches maybe cleaned for several use by allowing sugar crystals and broken chips settle to bottom and decanting after.

If you feel the cassava you are working with is too hard, stop and discard them away. They are probably past harvest maturity and might contain considerable amount cyanogen, a paralytic compound.

Be aware of potatoes with green peels. The green substance is called solanin. It is poisonous. Scrape the green part off and the rest can be used safely.

Procedure:

1) Prepare syrup by mixing one kg sugar with one liter water. Boil for 30 minutes. Cool. Adjust sweetness intensity by adding or lessening sugar quantity. Use refractometer for better accuracy.
2) Select bananas. Wash it thoroughly until all the adhering dirt are removed.
3) Peel by cutting both ends, making a single longitudinal slit and lifting the skin off with knife. It is tricky and hard at first but you’ll get used to it eventually.
4) Place in basin of water to prevent browning and wash off latex.
5) Slice uniformly. Thickness should be 1/16 inch. Use a guided knife, a manual slicer or a machine slicer capable of high speed work.
6) Heat the cooking oil up to 270°F. In absence of candy thermometer, monitor by placing a slice in oil, it is ready when rapid bubbling appears on sides. Cook for 15 minutes or until crispy. Remove from oil and cool.
7) Soak in syrup for 3 minutes. Drain. Store remaining syrup and use for next batches.
8) Cooked in oil (270°F) for 5 to 10 minutes. Separate sticking pieces.
9) Remove from oil. Place on manila paper or clean towel to drain off excess oil. Turn to facilitate draining.
10) Pack in PP bags or other suitable containers.

Sugar Free?

Skip steps 7-9 and you have it. You may sprinkle powdered flavorings instead. Like barbecue, cheese and chili.

Taro/Gabi, Cassava/Kamoteng Kahoy and Potato Chips?

The same slicing and frying procedure apply. However, pay close attention to frying time as they get cooked in seconds and burnt easily. Jollibee and McDonalds french fries cooking trick is awesome for this. The specially made frying strainer allow quick dipping in and removal from hot oil. If you’re a fan of these two fast-food chain then you already seen how it works.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

Yet Another Way to Get Rid of Cyanide from Cassava

Cassava or kamoteng kahoy is popularly known to have poisonous cyanide. It is poisonous if sufficient amount is inhaled or adequate quantity is consumed.

A student was selling cassava suman in between classes to cover her tuition fees, daily allowance and other school needs. Selling in school premises without administrative permission is illegal. I hope this instance is an exception.

A short interview:

What was that?

It was suman made of cassava. A mixture of grated cassava and sugar. It was wrapped in banana leaves and boiled.

Was that soft or hard? If the kamoteng kahoy used was matured, then the resulting product will be tougher than normal.

The texture was normal. Not too soft and not too hard.

Was that safe to consume? It might contain harmful cyanide enough to send me to hospital or even worse.

It was safe. We pressed out the juice thoroughly after grating, to remove any possible danger substance.

The popular way of removing or avoiding the harmful chemical are by harvesting young but plumb roots and by fermentation. Pressing out the liquid after grating is an addition to mentioned methods. It might not rid of cyanide completely but it will sure remove significant amounts.

How about the nutrients? Loss of juice sure took away nutrients.

Cassava is a rich source of carbohydrates, the energy giving carbs. The main reason why we are eating cassava is to get energy. Take a variety of nutritious foods like fruits and green leafy vegetables for a balance nourishment.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

The Coconut Husk Broiled Cassava

I posted the article about, “Using Coconut Husk to Roast Taro Corms” before this one.

The idea behind roasting gabi/taro inside burning coconut husk came from cassava. When the three of us, three brothers, were still young kids and used to help our pops in his farming activities, roasted kamoteng kahoy was our unusual merienda. The usual were boiled gabi, cassava, ube and Saba banana.

We were gathering coconut husks, the remains after harvesting, and pulling off some kamoteng kahoy. Brushed the cassava with husk to remove adhering soils. Assembled the half part of coconuts husk. Placed facing up on ground. Fired it. Put enough cassava. Covered it with the other half of husk. Then waited until all the husk turned to ashes.

This side activity was being done during break time or before work commenced. It’s good to have a ready snack right after work.

It was a good finger food. Holding the toasted cassava with bare hands. Pulling off the brittle hard skin. Then eating the juicy to powdery flesh. The cassava with no excess water  and with a strong smoke taste and aroma.

The following pictures are remake.

cassava on coconut huskcassava on coconut huskbroiled and toasted cassava

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

The Pan Fried Cassava Cake

It was my mom’s favorite recipe when we were still kids. It is the budget and quick version of regular cassava cake, the pan fried cassava cake.  It is a great alternative if llaneras and steamer are not available, the cook is short on budget and the people around are bored of nilagang kamoteng kahoy.

pan fried cassava cakeThe ingredients are grated cassava, a little sugar and oil. Wash cassava. Remove the peels, see “How to Make Cassava Chips” for peeling instructions. Grate. Mix sugar. Get a half cup then fry on little oil. Turn both sides until both surfaces are crispy golden brown. Repeat until all mixture is consumed. A non-stick Teflon pan is recommended to prevent sticking.

It may result to different texture and appearances.

1) Crispy golden brown outside but oily soft inside. The case if too much oil was added to pan and the lump of cassava mixture was placed when the oil temperature was not hot enough or the fire was too low to compensate the sudden temperature drop.

2) Burnt. The fire was too high or the attendant leaved it in pan for too long. Perhaps watching his favorite television drama or anime. Please pay attention next time!

3) Raw center. A result of too thick cake. Cooking it longer might result to burnt surface. Thicker lumps should be cooked slowly over low fire but might result to next…

4) Tough. Cooking over a very low fire for prolonged time. It allows excessive moisture evaporation resulting to toughness.

5) Any crazy combinations of above items.

I have never tried cooking one yet so no exact parameters were provided.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.