Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Lasang Pinoy: Yellow Ribbon Turon

I first learned about the Lasang Pinoy (Pinoy is local slang for Filipino) food blogging event from Karen of The Pilgrim's Pots and Pans when my blog was a mere 2 posts old. The idea was still being fine-tuned, to be launched on Ninoy Aquino day, details still in the works, but would I like to join? Oooh, I was a bit scared (I have never really cooked Filipino food, shame on me) but this was a Pinoy food blogging event, and I am Pinay (slang for Filipina), so I was definitely in. No questions about it!

You can learn all about this event and what it stands for here. For me, Ninoy is the epitome of all the good things a Filipino can achieve. He remains my inspiration and his words, "The Filipino is worth dying for", remains a mantra to keep the faith and do the right thing even if all odds seem against you, and to see the awsome beauty in a country that has so much to offer but is sometimes buckling beneath the weight of difficult times. I am not well versed in politics so perhaps my views are a tad idealistic but there you have it.

Here is a collection of personal stories about what transpired during that time, put together by Perla Daly. It includes her own story, plus those of others who have shared their stories with her.

I never got the chance to "take to the streets" during the 1986 rallies (my parents locked me in the house, I was 11 or 12 then) so I don't really remember a particular food associated with that time. I chose instead to feature a typical Pinoy snack that is sold on the streets (to represent the rallies) and is sweet (to reflect the Filipinos sense of "laughter in adversity" -- we have the sweetest smiles and the easiest laughs here...come see!). And of course, there's the yellow ribbon...representing the song "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree", which became an anthem of sorts for Ninoy's return after his three-year exile in Boston.

Turon is a typical Pinoy sweet snack that vendors peddle in street corners across the city. These yummy bundles consist of saba bananas coated in brown sugar, wrapped in lumpia wrapper (springroll wrapper), and fried. Langka (jackfruit) is also added sometimes (although I didn't add any to mine). My Yellow Ribbon variety has a special something though. Just as Filipinos often add laughter in their lives to counteract hard times, I too have added some extra sweet bits to give this snack added oomph!

The "sweet bits" I refer to are none other than Choc-nut, Curly Tops, and Flat tops! Every Filipino around the globe will recognize these local favorites. These are snacks that smack of my childhood. I have cousins in Spain that demand Choc-nut every time someone visits. Curly Tops and Flat Tops are the only things that got me through accounting exams in college. Suffice to say that they have a cult-following. Choc-nut is basically labelled as "peanut milk chocolate". The peanuts are ground up but you can still feel a little of the roughness. Flat Tops and Curly Tops are local chocolates made by Ricoa and bear the tag line "Rich Chocolate, for the chocolate lover" (woohoo! that's me!). Also, there is no distinction in either taste and appearance between the Flat and Curly Tops. Hmmm...this fact remains unexplained to me to this day. Anyhoo, much like the rest of our dishes, although a little mysterious and sometimes unexplained, they are damn good!

So here's how to whip up some Lasang Pinoy sweetness in your kitchen...

Yellow Ribbon Turon
(makes 20 pieces)

- 10 saba bananas, sliced lengthwise
- 20 lumpia wrappers (spring roll wrappers)
- brown sugar (start with ½ cup then keep adding when you run out)
- 10 pieces Choc-nut chopped (this will also depend on how much you want to put into your turon)
- 10 pieces total Curly Tops & Flat Tops, chopped (again, this will also depend on how much you want to put into your turon)
- a little water
- oil for frying

Here’s what you do:

- Spread the brown sugar in a bowl wide enough to lay the banana slices in.
- Coat a slice of banana in the brown sugar.
- Place the coated banana on one end of the lumpia wrapper (see picture)
- Place alternating chunks of Choc-nut and Curly/Flat Tops on the banana slice (Feel free to do this to your taste, if you want more of the peanut or more of the chocolate flavor. If you want, you can also place only Choc-nut or only Curly/Flat Tops and have two separate turon flavors.)
- Fold wrapper and banana over once, then fold the side ends in, then continue folding until you reach the end of the wrapper. Seal the end with water.
- Repeat procedure with the rest of the banana slices.
- Fry in hot oil until golden brown.

When you fry the turon, the sugar melts and melds with the lumpia wrapper, making it crunchy and caramelized. When your teeth successfully breach this crunchy outer layer of sweetness you are rewarded with the soft creaminess of the banana and the chocolaty-peanut goodness of the Choc-nut and Curly/Flat Tops, which by now have melted together. YUM!

Thanks to Lasang Pinoy for providing such a fun venue for exploring our local eats! Turon is a simple and very common snack here, but much loved, at least by this particular Pinay :-)


Karen said...

Goodness! You need to patent this turron recipe!!! And so pretty too!

I loved reading your entry. What a wonderful take on a period of our turbulent history.

Thanks for joining Joey!

celia kusinera said...

Now THAT is one special turon and the ribbons make them sooo cute! Yum yum! I've never tried this with Chocnut and flattops so once I manage to nab some this weekend I'll make these. Thanks for sharing Joey. :)

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Karen and CeliaK! Your nice words really mean a lot! :-) I had a lot of fun putting this together! And, yes, eating it too, hehe :-)

Karen, thanks for giving me the heads up on Lasang Pinoy way back when, and encouraging me to join!

CeliaK, I also like the ribbons :-) I even have a little "bayong" where you can put the turon in for special "baon". If you try them out, just adjust the Choc-nut and Flat Tops to your taste (and desired sweetness quotient) :-)

dexiejane said...

oh wow. i never tried it with chocolates before. can i use regular hershey's bar? i LOVE how you added the yellow ribbon. such a nice touch.

angelika said...

Hi Joey, thank you for leaving a comment on my new blog yesterday. I have just put your blog on my favourites list and will follow it from now on. Maybe tomorrow I will have time to browse it all over, but it seems to be very inspiring !
Kind regards from Vienna

drstel said...

wow, what a lovely idea! yes yes you must patent this, very original.
my kids are only starting to appreciate the sweet cooking banana (we have no sabah here but i use plantains). thank you for this recipe.

ting-aling said...

Ang galing! 'never thought about being that creative Joey. You surely are artsy.."oh tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tre..if you still want me, if you still love me..dadadaaaa..."

And the chocolates. They're great!

jeyc14 said...

Wow joey! Those look absolutely delicious! :)

Coincidentally, my Aunt's favorite chocolate snack happens to be both chocnut and flat tops. Imagine the look of horror on my face whenever she'd devour a whole pack of each in-between meals. But then again I do that too... Haha! :)

Thanks for the recipe. I'll try cooking it for my Aunt one of these days.

ajay said...

Good entry, Joey.

Turon with locally-made chocolates is a very novel idea, indeed.

Cheers to Lasang Pinoy!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Dexie, thanks! :-) Yes, you can use other chocolates too...When you think of it though, bananas, chocolate, and peanuts (or peanut butter) are a pretty stellar combination...ok, at least to me, haha!

Hi Angelika, thanks for stopping by and for your kind words! And thanks for adding me to your links :-) I'd love to see you dropping have a very nice blog and I will also be visiting, I have added you to my links as well :-)

Drstel, thanks and I hope your kids like it! I was thinking actually as I was making this that this would be something kids would enjoy...

Thanks Ting! I really enjoyed coming up with it...that song actually makes me cry, especially the part when he finally arrives home and there are tons of yellow ribbons flying...sniff

Hello there Jeyc14! Thanks for your nice comments :-) I used to eat TONS of Flat Tops to make my accounting lessons stick in my worked and I passed, haha! Hope your aunt likes it!

Hi Ajay! Thanks for dropping by and for the nice words :-) I never tried turon with local chocolates before either, but I'll definitely be doing this again :-) I love Flat Tops!

Midge said...

Uy, turon ala bananas Foster! Super-take on an ol' fave, Joey.

Lori said...

You've got a winner here. Fantastic job you did here.

schatzli said...

di pa ako nakatikim nito, joey patent mo nga pero pa kupya muna!

aha they locked you in you have missed all the tension then LOL


ChichaJo said...

Midge, Lori, Schatzli: Thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful responses! :-)

Midge, have never tried bananas Foster, would you believe? Haha!

Lori, I just read the My Home that featured your nice!

Schatzli, yes they locked me up! Hayayay! But I got tense anyway because I knew something was going on and I could sense the tension, but of course no one was really talking to me about it...tuloy wala akong "rallying" to write about, hahaha! :-)

JMom said...

What a great idea! We love bananas and chocolate, but I would never have thought of putting choc with turon. I'll have to try this soon, sadly probably with Hersey's like Dexie... kind of hard to find choc nuts where we are :-( Oh, the yellow ribbon is a brillant touch too!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Jmom! Hope you enjoy it! :-)

thess said...

a unique presentation.. it truly is a special turon, wow! 'love the yellow ribbons too (^-^) kudos to you joey!

now if I could only find saba *fingers crossed*

have a nice weekend!

stef said...

joey, napakaganda naman ng turon mo. and you brought it up to a whole new level of decadence, my daughter, whose favorite pinoy treat is turon, will surely want to try this, minus the chocnut though -- favorite din n'ya 'yon kaso allergic sa peanuts. thanks for the inspiration!

Fanny said...

Looks yummy Joey. I wish i could taste it.

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Thess! Glad you think this is as special as I do! Hope you can find saba :-)

Thanks Stef! Aaah decadence...sometimes we just have to live a little and say "I'm having chocolate with that!" Haha! Hope your daughter enjoys it (even without the choc-nut it'll be good) :-)

Thanks Fanny! It is really yummy :-)

Anonymous said...

wow very unique ..i wonder what it taste like :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi anonymous person! :-) Thanks for stopping by and for your nice's quite yummy :-)

lani said...

Wow! yummy turon tied with yellow ribbons. I will try it with chocnut on the side (he,he,he). It's really a good idea, very Pinoy.

Himbabao looks like thin caterpillar (sorry for the comparison, he,he,he). I would post a pic once I get to find it. Pag ganito kasing rainy season wala noon, pag summer lang siya meron akong nabibili at galing daw ito sa Nueva Ecija. Very pricey itong gulay na ito pero very masarap din. At first nga parang di ko feel na bumili noon but the tindera told me na masarap daw. So, try ko siya sa pinakbet ko at trulili yummy nga.

I will always visit your blog.

God bless!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks for stopping by Lani! And thanks for the himbabao first kala ko caterpillar nga sya (not reading well Joey!)...Pala new veggies to discover :-) Would love it if you visit my blog often!

Svelte Rogue said...

hey joey thanks for dropping by twerpthoughts :) yes they sell balut in belgium but at that exorbitant (read: extortion) prices. i miss them terribly.

by the way, i love turon. to bits!

Gia-Gina said...

Thank you, thank you for the recipe. I haven't seen these for 13 years since I left Guam. I will have to try them.

ChichaJo said...

Thanks for dropping by svelte rouge! Turon's a simple dish but oh-so-yummy and comforting, no? Still can't get over the price of balut in Belgium...I love balut too so I feel for you!

Hi there gia-gina! Glad you liked the recipe...hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by :-)

annabanana said...

turon with choc nut, what a winning combination!

ChichaJo said...

Hello Annabanana! Thanks for dropping by :-) I love the taste combi too!

nikki said...

I would love to try this. Goodbye diet! :-D

ChichaJo said...

You can always diet tomorrow Nikki...heehee! :-)

Jennifer Tan said...

Those look really yummy!Have you tried the choco-banana turon at Max Brenner? I forgot what they call it on the menu..but its my favorite thing to oder there. It's turon with chocolate what you did minus your ingenius use of choc-nut at curly tops!=) they serve it with a scoop of vanilla haagen daaz.....OMG! I call it "glorified turon"

I love your posts have a fan here =)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Jennifer! Thanks for dropping by and thanks for such warm words...I'm blushing with happiness (truly)! :)

I haven't tried the turon in Max sounds heavenly! Thanks for the tip...

Anonymous said...

hi! i love turon but can't seem to make it stay crunchy long enough to make it " baon ". Also, during family reunions,they start becoming soggy after an hour on the buffet table. I would appreciate tips! thanks.
by the way, yellow is my favorite color and coupled with turon- it looks heavenly!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ksp! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment :) Sorry, no tips for keeping turon crunchy after cooking...I have the same problem! :)

BADO said...

i love your ingredients specially chocnut for am a lover of it so this weekend i will cook. maraming salamat po

BADO said...

i love chocnut. maraming salamat for this recipe. this weekend i will cook my very first TURON.

BADO said...

maraming salamat for the recipe. i love chocnut. this weekend, i will cook my very first TURON.

perla daly said...

Hello there:

thanks for posting a link to my people power journal/photo gallery that I created in 1995/1996. the new and corrected address is:

I will be sure to check out your site for more yummy recipes.

btw, i am launching this 2009 and hope your blog can be one of its members' many listed cool pinay sites.

happy new year.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Perla! Thanks for the heads up on the updated link...will amend it now :) Will check out as well! Happy New Year! :)

Frances said...

Hello there! Here I am in America, longing to be back and trying out pinoy recipes. Its nice of you to share online. The chocolate is a new twist!

By chance, do you have the recipe for the pastillas de leche? I have always wanted to make that. Unfortunately, they do not sell that here in America.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Frances! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment :) I don't have any recipes for dulce de leche...perhaps you can try the other Pinoy food blogs on my sidebar? Wish I could be more help!