Pisang Tanduk, the gigantic banana

Pisang tanduk or plantain is the staple food in Africa, Cuba, South  and Central America. Some of their cuisines require cooking it with meat. Over here in Malaysia, plantains are cooked without meat. Most often are deep-fried,  made into banana chips or simply steamed and served as light meals for supper or breakfast.


Pisang tanduk
Pisang tanduk, 1 foot long
“An average plantain has about 220 calories and is a good source of potassium and dietary fiber.” – Wikipedia

The Scientific name for Pisang Tanduk is Musa x Paradisia fa. corniculata. It is also known as the cow horn banana in Chinese or cooking banana. Pisang tanduk or the plantain is very well liked by all races of Malaysians  in this country. As you can see from the picture above, it can grow up to 1 foot long or even longer. Its diameter is usually 3-4″.

Smaller type of pisang tanduk measures up to 6-8″ long and diameter is only 2-3″ wide. Most people would deep-fry pisang tanduk like frying pisang goreng.


Pan-fried pisang tanduk

Pisang tanduk has a tart taste when it is eaten raw. In reality, there are people who first encounter pisang tanduk thinking that it is just like ordinary banana with bigger size. Some will just go ahead and peel the skin and try to eat it like eating pisang rastali or pisang keling. It does not taste sweet and its texture is not as soft as other smaller bananas. However, pisang tanduk tastes heavenly sweet and delicious after cooking. One way to enjoy this fruit is by pan-frying it.
Peel the skin and cut slices of the banana. Pan-fry with minimum quantity of oil until both sides of the slices turn brown or caramelized. Kids love bananas cooked this way. We all know that kids like deep-fried food but pan-fried food is a better choice.


Steamed Pisang tanduk

Another choice of cooking is simply by steaming. Steamed plantain is very sweet. Some Malays serve them with grated coconut. This dish is so simple that no recipe is needed. Just cut the banana in slices without peeling the skin. Steam for 10 minutes. Done ! Great for breakfast or supper, simple and delicious!


Plantains growing on the tree
Plantains growing on the tree

Baked plantain does not taste as good as the steamed and the pan-fry plantain. As such, recipe of baking pisang tanduk will not be covered here. Personally, I am in favor of only these two ways of cooking pisang tanduk.

Finally just one word of reminder :

The big banana plantain is not to be confused with the plantain herb (plantago major).



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