This popular sweet originated in either Canton or Shanghai, nobody seems to know which. It doesn’t make any difference where, because it is made beautifully in both places.
To Make Batter Combine
7ounceswater, at room temperature
2 large or 3 medium-size firm bananas
4 to 5cupspeanut oil
To Make Glaze combine
Bowl of ice water
Make batter by mixing ingredients in a bowl. If too dry, add a little more water. The batter should resemble pancake batter.
Break the bananas into 10 equal pieces, each about 1½inches long. Drop banana pieces into the batter and coat evenly.
Heat a wok over high heat for 1 minute. Add peanut oil and heat until a wisp of white smoke appears. Deep-fry the batter-coated bananas for 3 to 4 minutes, until pieces turn golden brown and crunchy. Remove from oil, drain, and set aside.
Empty oil from the wok into a bowl. Wash wok thoroughly until it is totally free of oil.
Make the glaze: Add ¾cup water to the wok and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved and glaze is bubbling. Allow glaze to boil until it begins to reduce and thicken, 5 to 6 minutes. The sugar glaze is ready when a drop solidifies when dropped into cold water.
Place bananas in the glaze and stir until well coated. Dip each coated banana into ice water. The glaze will harden instantly into a candylike finish. Serve immediately.