12 Aug2008


When you have the remains of nearly two sacks of charcoal still smoldering away and the lechon has been taken off the fire, what else can you possibly do with the heat source? Charcoal grilled saba bananas, why not? The day before we had this feast, I dropped by the Agri Fair of The Cebu Governor at the Capitol Building nearby, and amongst other things, bought an entire bunch of spectacular looking saba bananas, about a day or two shy of ripe. The following morning we brought about 20-30 pieces to the lechonan and just kept them on standby…


We just threw the bananas onto the coals directly and occasionally flipped them over to singe them on all sides, and after a few minutes, we removed them from the coals and let them sit for several minutes more to steam in their own juices in their nice own wrappers. The result? Wonderful. Naturally sweet but not overpoweringly so. No added ingredients, so easy to do. I am surprised these aren’t even more popular than boiled bananas! However, I must confess that I like fried saba bananas even better! I thought these were more of a dessert, but several of the crew were munching on these before and even during the main meal! I first did a post on grilled saba bananas, here.



  1. choy says:

    hope you had some guinamos to dip it in. that would have been fantastic!

    Aug 12, 2008 | 10:05 am


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  3. meng says:

    in thailand they also grill the bananas and its so yummy

    Aug 12, 2008 | 10:17 am

  4. kiko says:

    In San Pablo City, Laguna you can actually find lots of vendors selling “inihaw na saging”. It differs from your roasted bananas Marketman in that the bananas are peeled first and then skewered. I still prefer turon and bananacue pero “inihaw na saging” is a good “low GI” alternative (i suppose).

    Aug 12, 2008 | 12:09 pm

  5. Fabian says:

    kiko: what do you mean by low GI? low in the glycaemic index?

    just wondering ‘coz i do know that bananas are high on the list; i wonder if sabas should be any different.

    if you didn’t mean gylcaemic index, then just ignore what i said above. :)

    Aug 12, 2008 | 1:22 pm

  6. farrah says:

    ignoramus me but i never realized saba can be grilled too! will definitely have to try this very soon.

    Aug 12, 2008 | 1:48 pm

  7. kiko says:

    i do mean glycaemic index… i’m not in the medical profession so don’t take my advice seriously. I just mentioned that “inihaw na saging” is probably “low GI” in comparison to turon and bananacue. Sugar is not added when grilling the bananas the San Pablo way. Also, the bananas used for grilling are very firm and are still a bit “unripe”…

    Aug 12, 2008 | 2:28 pm

  8. Connie C says:

    I like to jazz up my grilled or microwaved saba with butter and honey; sometimes, the calamansi concentrate with honey works for me when I am too lazy to squeeze the lemon or calamansi or slather the honey……not for the diabetic tho.

    Aug 12, 2008 | 6:25 pm

  9. Homebuddy says:

    We do grill bananas but use the unripe ones then dip it in ginamos with calamansi. “humot”!

    Aug 12, 2008 | 10:09 pm

  10. EbbaMyra says:

    My cousin in Quezon grilled unripe saba, then after peeling them, they add kinayod na niyog and brown sugar, and then they pound them (in the same bayuhan of rice). Afterward they wrap them in banana leaves. Ummmm…. yummmy..

    Aug 12, 2008 | 11:38 pm

  11. natie says:

    ebba–in iloilo/negros, it’s called ”linupak”–it IS delicious!!

    Aug 13, 2008 | 12:38 am

  12. Leah says:

    Hi MM — my experience is that saba and plantain bananas are NOT the same. That’s actually one of my frustrations about living in the US East Coast. Plantains are very bland, starchy and overly firm. They are also larger and rather long. Saba, which I prefer, are smaller and rounder and have a better texture, are sweeter and more tangy. To get close enough to saba, plantains have to be allowed to ripen until almost black. I’ve seen saba bananas in California markets, but never here in the Northeast. Shame!

    Aug 13, 2008 | 12:48 am

  13. EbbaMyra says:

    Thanks Natie, it is so nice to know that somebody in another area of Pinas cooks and prepares food in a different way. Para tuloy malakas lalo ang feeling of being one.

    Aug 13, 2008 | 4:05 am

  14. pulutan says:

    MM you reminded me of those good old days (circa: 1965) in Batangas when we make banana-que (grilled saba in skewer) for afternoon snack. thanks for the memories . . .

    PS you never mentioned having mousaka (equivalent of tortang talong) when you were in Athens.

    Aug 13, 2008 | 6:00 am

  15. Apicio says:

    EbbaMyra and Natie, Nilupak is a great Filipino snack/dessert imo. There’s some Mindoro folks here in Toronto who make them with grilled plantain, steamed cassava, coconut and refined sugar and sladder the mounds with Star margarine (believe it or not) and it’s not bad, about the only item I buy from them. I mentioned it here before that their ulam made for unhappy meals. Enriqueta David Perez calls it simply Lupak. Lupak or Nilupak sound rather violent to my ears though, we should think up a more enticing name.

    Aug 13, 2008 | 6:41 am

  16. EbbaMyra says:

    Apicio – I think Nilupak came about because originally talagang binabayo nila yung saging and kamote. Hehhe, parang sadistic noh. But that is how our language.. so..poetic.

    Mr. MM ang ganda ang after effect ng food blog mo, we Pinoys from different part of the world get to chat.. not about “tsismis” things but of all the things.. Pinoy’s favorite – Food. How wonderful. That should make you feel better that you have joined us in one spirit.. electronically.

    Aug 13, 2008 | 9:39 pm

  17. natie says:

    thanks, apicio! hello, ebba!! will try to experiment with apicio’s ingredients above..they’re readily available in a korean grocer nearby. here’s to good food!

    Aug 14, 2008 | 7:17 am

  18. EbbaMyra says:

    Meron kaming nabibili rito na another type of kamote – Hawaiian Yam ang label. We prefer it than than our local ones, not to be “traitor” pero mas maganda kasi ang stock nila ng yam na ito. Anyway, its’ color is dark purple but the taste is really like our kamote. I think today bibili ako nito and will try Apicio’s recipe.. then ito ang dadalhin ko sa upcoming birthday potlock ng sister ko. Wish me goodluck. (Everything will be easy except yung pagkakayod ng niyog.. yikes)

    Aug 14, 2008 | 9:54 pm

  19. thelma says:

    apicio, you made me laugh…unhappy meal…ha!ha!ha! i will try this recipe though because it sounds so good. besides, my brother sent me a kudkuran through a balikbayan friend so i can make use of that…

    Aug 14, 2008 | 10:08 pm

  20. EbbaMyra says:

    My sister had to correct me, she said in Quezon it is called NIYUBAK (that is why they used the bayuhan), not Nilupak. Teheeee. I am making them this weekend. I already bought the bananas, plantain nga lang, walang saba eh.

    Aug 15, 2008 | 9:06 pm

  21. erbie says:

    yum..yum!its called baga-baga in cagayan de oro.they poise the saba on sticks and let them roll bath on ardent charcoal.brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar..

    Aug 16, 2008 | 10:02 am

  22. millet says:

    my waray in-laws always ate lechon and grilled fish with boiled bananas and camotes. somehow, that had to be the proper pairing all the time.

    Aug 21, 2008 | 10:25 am

  23. Ela says:

    erbie, that’s how we do it in Iligan City too. though i dont know how it was called then. i remember buying it in the nearby school and the tindera would used Star Margarine for brushing. I tried using Dari Creme or Anchor Butter but I still prefer Star Margarine with it.

    Aug 23, 2008 | 11:11 am

  24. Jelo says:

    I just stumbled upon this website and it’s an awesome piece of work. Good job MarketMan!

    I do this at home too as an accompaniment to fatty fried dishes or strong-tasting grilled foods. I actually just peel the bananas and place them in the oven toaster grill with the toaster’s heat placed on the lowest possible setting. I “grill” the bananas for about 30 mins or so, watching it carefully.

    Sep 26, 2008 | 10:21 pm

  25. el_jefe says:

    Kiko are you from San Pablo? ”Inihaw na saging” is one of my favorite street food…grilled saba is common in Batangas…In Laguna I only see this ”grilled saging culture” in San Pablo…May be because of its proximity to Batangas…and ” inihaw” is not the appropriate term for grilled bananas…”Binanging Saging” or ” Saging na Binange”…Bangi=is the Batangas term for the mainstream Tagalog ”Ihaw”…..San Pablos culture and food is more akin to Batangan culture than Laguna culture…

    Nov 17, 2009 | 10:28 am


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