Friday, April 18, 2008

Banana Napalm

After suffering from periodic, spasmodic cravings for a particular Samoan dish, suafa'i, or banana soup, which craving was only sporadically appeased, I went online and found a recipe. Through trial and error and a few modifications, my wife and I have gotten the technique down for suafa'i. Here is the recipe as we now like it:

6 very ripe bananas
1 qt. water
1/3 pkg. tapioca (8 oz. box)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar

Break the bananas into small pieces and place into a large kettle with the water. Cook the banana-water mixture at a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Blend the mixture with a hand-held blender until fairly smooth. Mix in the tapioca slowly and evenly so as to avoid lumps and clumps of rubbery goo. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Take off heat and stir in coconut milk and sugar. Tausami loa!--Eat!

Now let me relate to you the little bit that gives this post its name. This evening, Deb and I initially used the 12 bananas to 1 quart water as suggested by Cooks.com. But as I was stirring our suafa'i during the first 20 minute period, a large bubble popped from within the pot and hurled a lava-hot bit of banana goo onto my right index finger. It was HOT, but thanks to a modern sink with good and cold water, I will survive.

From this, Deb and I learned that the banana to water ratio needed to be reduced. Suafa'i that's too thick is not as palatable. But if you get the consistency right, you're in for quite a treat. Suafa'i--another Samoan favorite--easy to make, cheap, and delicious.

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