Maruya is a healthy, delicious Filipino afternoon snack of battered saba bananas fried to a crisp then sprinkled with sugar. It is so easy to make and deliciously satisfying.
For some unknown reason, Maruya, unlike its fellow banana snacks like Turon and Banana Cue, is not as ubiquitous and is somewhat overshadowed by the two. I now seldom see street vendors selling these anymore. So, I have decided to make some and share this easy Maruya recipe!
What is Maruya?
Maruya is a classic Filipino snack or merienda, basically, a sweet fritter, made with Saba (Cardaba) bananas coated in batter and fried to form a crispy and chunky treat made sweeter with a sprinkling of sugar on top! It is a common street food sold in market stalls but can be easily made at home to enjoy.
Variations of Maruya
There are several variations of this sweet snack out there, depending on the preparation of the cooking banana.
In the north, it is common to use mashed ripe saba bananas and mixed into the batter before frying. There are also those who slice the bananas into cubes and or just cut the banana into halves.
In Bicol, they call it Sinapot, where several slices of banana are glued together with batter then fried.
Pinaypay is the version more popular in the Visayas region. It is done by cutting the banana in several thin slices leaving them attached at one end and spreading the slices like a fan.
Some regional versions use sweet potatoes and other types of bananas like Lantundan(apple banana). Regardless of how it's made, it is truly one of the most delicious banana snacks ever!
Foxy Tips when making Maruya
- Do not over-mix the batter, stop once it reaches a thick batter consistency. This will make it easier to form and keep its shape while cooking.
- Make sure to have plenty of banana pieces with each scoop. A piece with fewer solids and more batter will turn out soggy and unappetizing.
- To keep the fritters from falling apart while frying, make sure to pre-heat your pan and use enough oil to submerge them. Use medium heat only. Do not flip them too soon, wait until the side is golden brown in color.
- Cook in small batches. Do not over-crowd your pan. This will make the temperature drop and the fritters will come out mushy.
What to serve it with?
These would be perfect served ala mode on a hot sunny day! Just place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. To add a citrusy and spicy note to your Maruya, you can also sprinkle it with cinnamon powder. If you are in the mood for some choco-banana action, you can also dust with cocoa powder and some chocolate chips on top.
Maruya (Banana Fritters)
- 6 pieces Saba Banana ripe but still firm, peeled
- cooking oil for frying
- ¼ cup sugar for coating or more
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a masher just to break them into small pieces, don’t make them too mushy though, you want to have body and texture in maruya. You can also cut them into slices or cubes.
- In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Pour in the milk and mix using a spatula or spoon just until combined. Never mind if there are a bit of small lumps.The batter will be thick.
- Add the mashed bananas to the batter and mix using a spatula or wooden spoon until well combined .
- Heat enough oil in a pan over medium heat. Scoop a ladleful of the mixture into the hot oil and flatten it a bit with a spatula. Fill the pan with 3-4 scoops at a time.
- Fry each side until golden. Using a pair of tongs, take the cooked maruya and dredge it in sugar.
- Serve while still warm.