20 Aug2005

Maruya a la Marketman

by Marketman

Today is my birthday and since my age today is statistically over half of my expected normal lifespan barring errant bus drivers, pilots who faint from lack of oxygen or some strange form of cancer caused by excessive indulgence in La Maison du Chocolat large chocolate macaroons, I have decided to eat whatever the heck I want to eat. Heehee. Today I think it’s going to be some deep fried battered saba bananas (maruya) served with Haagen Daz Vanilla ice cream and palm sugar sauce. One candle only if we must have some semblance of tradition.amaru1Yum. Street food converted to a high brow home dessert. First take a perfectly ripe (I like mine shy of ripe) saba banana and slice it thinly but not all the way through. Make at least 4-5 cuts and fan the banana out. Dip in a mixture batter of flour, water and egg and deep fry until a crisp golden brown and the banana is cooked through. Drain on paper towels to remove any excess fat. You can eat these plain or sprinkle with some powdered sugar for some sweetness. They are terrific like this.

But if you want to go a little over the top, serve them on a plate amaru2with a generous scoop of good vanilla ice cream and drizzle some palm sugar sauce on top of it all. To make the palm sugar sauce, just dissolve some palm sugar and water over low heat until the right consistency. Cool slightly and drizzle on the dessert. In a pinch, brown sugar dissolved in water would also work but there is a unique flavor to the palm sugar that gives it a slightly different touch. This sauce is also what is served with sagu in many southeast asian versions of the dessert.

What the heck is palm sugar you ask? Panocha in local markets (a blob pictured here). amaru3Also known as gula melaka in Malay desserts or gula Jawa in Indonesian desserts (gula being Malay for sugar and Malacca and Java being large production areas). Palm sugar is obtained from the sap of palm trees. To get it, apparently you have to “abuse” a palm tree by beating its young inflorescence (growth at the top of the tree – actually, the male part of the flower) and when you have abused it enough it starts to dribble the sweet sap that eventually cakes into palm sugar. The tree can keep flowing for 2-3 months! Yikes, shouldn’t there be an ASPCA (animal rights group) equivalent for helpless plants??? At any rate, palm sugar tastes terrific and works well with the banana and ice cream.



  1. gemma asis says:

    happy birthday marketman! enjoy your day and i am looking forward to more interesting articles and recipes…gem

    Aug 20, 2005 | 6:07 am


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  3. Maricel says:

    Happy Birthday Marketman! God bless you and may all the good things you have shared with us your readers be returned to you a thousandfold.

    Aug 20, 2005 | 8:31 am

  4. Frayed says:

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for the great site. What else did you have to eat aside from maruya w/ice cream? (if you don’t mind sharing). Surely you must have really spoiled yourself.

    Aug 20, 2005 | 8:55 am

  5. Wilson Cariaga says:

    Happy Birthday MARKETMAN!!!!! don’t ever get tired sharing your finds, recipes and adventures. . .

    Aug 20, 2005 | 8:57 am

  6. Ivan M says:

    Have a good one on your birtday Mr. Marketman! Im assuming you have gracefully crossed over the ‘middle-age’ line with a healthy body (and teeth) and is looking forward to another period of eating binges and enjoying the simple culinary pleasures of life! Happy Birthday and thank for cooking up your wpmderful site. ;o)

    Aug 20, 2005 | 9:28 am

  7. liza m.c. says:

    happy birthday to both of us! =) me, i’ve decided to cook for my husband what HE wants to eat – for a change.
    really enjoy visiting your site. thanks!

    Aug 20, 2005 | 10:17 am

  8. may ann says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! MR. MARKETMAN. I hope that you will live more years. You are a good person so you deserve to live for longer years and share your blessings to those who have not. What a yummy maruya. May God bless you and your family. Enjoy your birthday party.

    Aug 20, 2005 | 11:40 am

  9. pt says:

    Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing your epicurean thoughts, insights, experiences, pictures, and stories — specially Filipino food.

    Aug 20, 2005 | 11:48 am

  10. edrid says:

    H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y ! ! ! Mr. Marketman, enjoy your day… i hope that you still share your experiences and new recipes to us. God bless and more power to you and your family.

    Aug 20, 2005 | 11:55 am

  11. marie says:

    HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARKETMAN! God bless you for enriching our lives. Enjoy your day, but make sure you post whatever indulgences you have for your special day :)

    Aug 20, 2005 | 12:07 pm

  12. lee says:

    enjoy. keep posting, cooking and eating

    Aug 20, 2005 | 5:23 pm

  13. Woody says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARKETMAN! I really enjoy your site! Thank you for sharing all your discoveries with us! Enjoy this day, and may you have many more great eats.

    Aug 20, 2005 | 5:47 pm

  14. Blair Mitch says:

    Happy Birthday to you! : )

    Aug 20, 2005 | 9:16 pm

  15. Marketman says:

    Thank you, thank you everyone for all of the bday greetings! And so many “lurkers” coming out of the shadows as well… thanks for visiting marketmanila.com!! And Liza, Happy Birthday to you!

    Aug 20, 2005 | 10:31 pm

  16. hchie says:

    Hope you had a great one! Cheers!

    Aug 21, 2005 | 10:07 am

  17. Dia says:

    Happy birthday! More years to come and more market manila posts, too! :)

    Aug 21, 2005 | 4:50 pm

  18. joey says:

    Hope you had a perfect birthday! That maruya looks great!

    Aug 21, 2005 | 10:59 pm

  19. dodi says:

    Belated Happy Birthday MarketMan! Was out of town and missed the party! Never too late to wish you a great life ahead though!

    Aug 22, 2005 | 10:06 am

  20. Gigi says:

    Hello, Birthdayman! Btw— Where does one procure palm sugar? Anyone in Salcedo Market selling the stuff?

    Aug 22, 2005 | 5:19 pm

  21. Marketman says:

    Thanks hchie, Dia, Joey, Dodi and Gigi. Gigi, our cook gets the palm sugar at the Guadalupe market. Apparently most large wet markets sell it. It comes in these rather grotty plastic wrapped portions. I am assured it is so sweet that it must be safe…go figure.

    Aug 22, 2005 | 6:17 pm

  22. ANNE says:

    Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.

    4 Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.

    5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;

    6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make your paths straight


    Aug 23, 2005 | 2:33 am

  23. dolly says:

    Belated Happy Birthday Marketman. Thanks for sharing your market finds, recipes and pictures. By the way, the maruya looks great. I will try this one for my kids.

    Aug 23, 2005 | 4:00 pm


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