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a photo of caramelized bananas on barbecue sticks laying on a banana leaf

Banana Cue (Filipino Fried Caramelized Bananas)

  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Diet: Vegan


If you’ve never had banana cue, you are in for a treat! This popular Filipino street food is made from fried saba bananas coated in caramelized brown sugar. It’s pretty easy to make and will satisfy any sweet tooth! 


  • 1 bunch saba bananas (about 7-10; see notes)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Canola oil


  • Pan or wok, for frying
  • Optional: bamboo skewers, for serving
  • Cooling rack or clean plate
  • Heat safe tongs


  1. Heat 1 1/2 to 2 inches of oil in a pan or wok on medium-low heat. You don’t want too much oil, just enough to cover about half of the banana. 
  2. Gently peel bananas but keep them whole. Set aside.
  3. Once the oil is warm, liberally sprinkle in half of brown sugar and wait until the sugar starts to caramelize.
  4. Carefully add the bananas into the hot oil on top of the caramelized brown sugar and begin to fry. After about a minute, start turning the bananas. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top of the bananas and in the surrounding oil and fry for about a minute more. Turn again continue with this process until you have added all of the brown sugar. Then, continue to turn every minute or two, so that they fry evenly. The goal here is to cook the bananas until they are golden and completely coated in the caramel. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your bananas, but ours usually take about 8-10 minutes total.
  5. Once finished, shake off any excess oil and place the banana cue onto a clean plate or cooling rack to cool. You can stand them up in a colander to drain a bit as well. We suggest not placing it on paper towels as it may stick.
  6. Once it is cool enough to eat and handle, you can eat them as is or skewer 1-2 of them onto some barbecue sticks. Dig in and enjoy! 


  • Saba Bananas: We find our Saba bananas at our local asian or Filipino Markets. If you can’t find it fresh, you can opt for frozen as well. Plantains, Burro bananas, Thai Bananas also work well here! Plantains are usually much longer so we suggest halving them lengthwise for ease of cooking. Lastly, avoid using overripe bananas or the end result will be mushy, Also keep in mind that larger bananas may take longer to cook. 
  • Brown Sugar: We used light brown sugar here but muscovado sugar or dark brown sugar would work as well. To ensure that your sugar is vegan, you can opt for an organic variety. If your bananas are large, add a bit more sugar.
  • Oil: We like to fry in canola oil as it has a high smoke point, is cheap, and has a neutral flavor.
  • The bamboo skewers are not necessary. If you don’t have any, you can eat the banana cue with your hands or with utensils on a plate. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert, Snack
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Keywords: banana, banana cue, fried bananas, caramel, vegan, filipino, snack, dessert