Filipino snack / streetfood

Turon/ Lumpiang Saging (Crispy Banana Spring Rolls)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014Enz F

Back when I was in elementary school, there was a tindera (lady vendor) who would sell freshly cooked snacks in front of our school gate. I would always find her in her makeshift stall under the flowering huge umbrella weathering the scorching three o’clock afternoon sun. During recess time, I would go to her stall and watch her slice those little round bananas. She would sprinkle the bananas with some brown sugar as she would carefully lay them on paper-thin wrappers and tightly roll them to resemble some mini-missile bombs. While she was setting to prepare her giant wok where she would later dip those wrapped morsels in boiling oil, girls and boys alike would begin to swarm her pwesto (booth) very eager to get a hand of the all-time best-seller merienda (afternoon snack), those crispy-brown and sugar-coated banana spring rolls.

Whenever we talk of merienda, who would have never tried turon?
Lumpiang Saging or Turon is a well-loved Filipino snack made from sliced saba, also known as sweet plantains or Cardaba bananas, oftentimes complemented with strips of langka (jackfruit), covered with crispy brown spring roll wraps and made even more inviting with caramelized sugar coating. It is a regular item sold or peddled by street vendors alongside other sidewalk popular treats like banana-que (sugar-coated banana), maruya (banana fritters), kamote-que (sugar-coated sweet potatoes) and karioka (sugar-glazed coconut balls) among others. Turon is the more common sweet version of the lumpiang shanghai (meat-filled spring rolls) and lumpiang togue (mung bean sprout rolls), crediting its origin to the popular savory Chinese spring rolls.

Turon is definitely one of the most iconic Filipino desserts.
This iconic streetfood owes its popularity to the simplicity and affordability of its ingredients as well as to its accessibility especially to the masses. Turon plays a very prominent role in Philippine culture. Almost every Filipino who grew up in this country can identify themselves to it and almost everyone has their own share of memories of having to munch turon on one of those childhood afternoon snacks. Upto these days, when you walk along the residential streets, you would always find a stall selling all sorts of street foods of these kinds. Even in every corners of the commercial district of Makati you would find a makeshift mobile fastfood (we fondly call Jolly Jeep-neys) serving you all sorts of Pinoy snacks, turon among the top hits.
Turon/ Lumpiang Saging (Crispy Banana Spring Rolls)
Yields 12 pieces of crispy banana spring rolls

  • 8 pcs. fully ripened saging na saba (sweet plantain or Cardaba banana), peeled
  • ½ cup strips of ripened langka (jackfruit)
  • 12 pcs. lumpia wrappers (rice flour wrappers) or egg roll wrappers
  • ½ cup cooking oil
  • water
Toppings (optional)
  • caramelized brown sugar
  • scoops of ice cream

  1. Slice the peeled banana into three pieces, lengthwise.
  2. Separate the spring roll wrappers and prepare the fillings.
  3. Assemble the turon. Place one spring roll wrapper on a flat surface. Put two slices of banana at the middle of the wrapper. Lay some strips of jackfruit in between and on top of bananas. Fold the lower edge of the roll wrapper halfway through, overlapping the fillings. Tuck in the left and the right edges of the wrapper. This should look like a lumped enveloped. Finally, start rolling all the way through the upper edge and then seal it with a dab of water. Place the wrapped banana on a separate plate. Repeat the process until all the ingredients are used up.
  4. Heat the cooking oil on a large pan and deep fry the rolls per batch. Adjust the heat so as not to burn the rolls. Occasionally flip the rolls to evenly cook. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until brown and crispy.
  5. Place the cooked turon on a plate lined with paper towels.
  6. To serve, drizzle the banana rolls with caramelized brown sugar. Add a scoop of ice cream if desired. Enjoy!

  1. You may omit the jackfruit if not available or substitute it with strips of ripened mango.
  2. Round plantain or cardaba banana are varieties of banana indigenous to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries. If they are not available in your area, you may use other varieties of cooking banana (e.g. Cavendish).

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