I never would have considered banana-ice; remember the banana song which cautioned against putting bananas in the refrigerator?
BTW: that is not quite right…
Bananas turn black because green banana peels contain a hormone called ethylene. This is a gaseous chemical that is responsible for ripening bananas to yellow. A few different natural acids are also being produced that add to the ripening process. Because of the cold temperature in the fridge the acid production slows down . Yet ethylene production continues, eventually breaking down the cell walls of the peel until it becomes black. If you want to keep bananas fresh for longer, peel them when they are ripe and put them in the fridge.
— paraphrased from eHow.com
I’d never thought of bananas being popular in Japan! A quick google of “bananas in japan” reveals that two years ago, Japan, prone to dieting fads, convinced itself that bananas for breakfast is a magic formula for weight loss. This sweet desert recipe, adapted from Washoku by Elizabeth Andoh, is not suitable for slimming!
The banana ice is one of the five ices she has grouped together to make rainbow ice: ruby grapefruit, strawberry, banana, apple, and honeydew melon. Ms. Andoh uses amazaké to replace Japanese sugar, which dissolves easily when stirred into room temperature liquids, but is not usually available outside of Japan. Read my post about black sesame ice for more information about amazaké.
Amazaké is not easy to find in my area, plus it is very expensive considering that I am using it as merely a sugar substitute. The big new Korean market has a huge assortment of soft-drinks, and among them I noticed shikhye. It said “rice punch” on the front and it was cheap. I used that to make my ginger-banana ice.
“Sikhye is made by pouring malt water onto cooked rice. The malt water steeps in the rice at typically 150 degrees Fahrenheit until grains of rice appear on the surface. The liquid is then carefully poured out, leaving the rougher parts, and boiled with sugar. Ginger or jujube are often added for additional flavor. …in Korean grocery stores wherever Korean communities are found, sikhye is readily available in cans…“
— from Wikipedia
shōga to bananaaisu
(生姜とバナナアイス—thanks google translate)
from Washoku by Elizabeth Andoh
- 1 cup Sikhye (or amazaké, or I’m betting ginger ale would work too)
- 1 ½ small bananas, sliced
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ginger juice
- a drop or 2 of light colored soy sauce (I used some French sea-salt)
Shake the Sikhye, then open it and put it into a blender, food processor, or deep cup (for using an immersion blender). Pulse or whirl or rrruummm to make the suspended rice smooth. Add the bananas and pulse until smooth and creamy. Add the lemon and ginger juices and soy sauce. Taste and adjust the flavorings. Freeze in a popsicle maker, a mini ice cube tray, or a flat bottomed container. About 3 hours. (my freezer did it in an hour in the mini ice cube tray: good thing cause I have only the one…)
Store in a covered container. Serve with fresh fruit.