The Saba is a species of banana that’s prevalent in the Philippines. It is starchier and has a thicker peel than regular table bananas. They are usually cooked before consumption while regular bananas are eaten when the fruit is ripe. It is one of the most consumed food item in the islands.
Saba is an ingredient in several savory dishes and sweet desserts. Turron, Banana cue and Maruya are examples of sweet saba dishes. Arroz ala Cubana and Pochero partner saba with meat. It acts like a potato, providing a starchy component to these dishes. In fact both saba and potatoes are present in Pochero.
Sliced Minatamis na Saba is a standard ingredient in the iconic Filipino dessert called halo-halo. It can also be served by itself with shaved ice and milk. This is dessert is called Saging con Yelo or literally Banana with Ice.
Storage life of this dessert is at least 1 week. The sugar syrup helps in preserving and enhancing the flavor. Keep the cooked bananas in the syrup to keep it from drying out.
It is recommended that semi-ripe to ripe saba bananas be used for cooking the sweet dishes. Savory dishes should use only semi-ripe bananas; they do not get too mushy when stewing and do not impart a noticeable sweet taste to the dish.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Good for: 3-4 persons
- 1 kg ripe Saba banana, peeled
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger OR 3 drops vanilla extract
- Crushed or Shaved Ice
- Evaporated Milk
Pour water into casserole and dissolve sugar. Add the grated ginger or vanilla extract.
Add peeled saba banana and simmer casserole in low heat for at least 15 minutes.
Add water as needed to maintain level. Do not let the syrup evaporate to less than 50% of the original amount.
Saba will be cooked when it is soft but not too mushy.
Let it cool and set aside. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Slice 3 pieces of saba into 2 cm discs.
Pour shaved or crushed ice into a bowl.
Add sliced saba and 4 tablespoon of syrup.
Top with ½ cup evaporated milk.