skip to Main Content
Subscribe to receive a free eCookbook! Sign Up!

Plantain Bananas in Syrup (Minatamis na Saging)

This Minatamis na Saging basically requires only 3 ingredients, plantain or cooking bananas, brown sugar, and water. The tapioca pearls and milk is but an added bonus to make it more special. Try it for an easy, delicious and healthier dessert or snack choice.

This recipe was originally posted in 2015 and updated in 2019 to include new photos.

plantain or cooking bananas with caramel syrup and tapiocal pearls

I made a batch of this when my two nephews/godsons, Andrei (9) and Jiro (7), were left to us one afternoon. It was their first time to have Minatamis na Saging. Like most typical kids, their initial reaction was, "no, thank you" when they saw the bananas.

I tried to convince Andrei to simply give it a try,  just a small bite. After some emotional blackmailing, he gave in to his Ninang's request. Once he did, his reluctant face turned into one big smile. Well, convincing Jiro was no biggie after that as he would copy whatever his big brother does. In the end, they finished two servings each.

What is Minatamis na Saging?

A traditional Filipino dessert or snack,'Minatamis na Saging' directly translates to sweetened bananas. It is really easy to prepare using plantain bananas or locally known as Saba, a variety of plantain banana that can be cooked, ripe or unripe. When ripe, can also be eaten raw.

Banana Trivia

Did you know that banana is not a tree but the world's largest herb? It is believed that there are about 1000 varieties of banana all over the world. And if you are feeling down, bananas could help make you feel happier as they contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to promote relaxation and improve mood.

Ripe saba bananas with brown sugar, milk and tapioca pearls

How to cook Minatamis na Saging?

It really is so easy to make. It involves making the caramel syrup by boiling the brown sugar in water. Then add the cut banana pieces and simmer until cooked.

If you are adding tapioca pearls then add it before turning the heat off. I usually also add a little vanilla extract and salt to my caramel syrup. It gives out a nice aroma and just a tiny hint of saltiness.

That is it! Your Minatamis na Saging is ready. You can have it still a bit warm or chilled.

What about the taste?

Saba has a very interesting taste and does not taste like other bananas. It is mildly sweet compared to other varieties that is enhanced by its equally mild tartness. It gets a firmer texture when cooked in syrup and cooled down that is quite surprising for the first-time Saba eaters.

procedures on how to cook minatamis na saging

What else can you make from Minatamis na Saging?

I usually enjoy my Minatamis na Saging simply by adding milk and some crushed ice to it. This is what we call Saba con Yelo. You can also try it by adding vanilla ice cream instead.

Make it vegan by replacing the milk with a non-dairy one. Coconut milk sounds good, actually.

It is also a major ingredient to make Halo-Halo, a popular summer dessert in the Philippines.

You can also use it for a pie filling or chop it and make a Turon out of it. Although, I prefer using raw Saba for that.

Minatamis na Saging with ice, tapiocal pearls and milk in a bowl

Other healthy Filipino Desserts or Snacks to try:

  • Turon or Mini Turon - another easy and delicious Saba recipe wherein bananas are dipped in sugar and wrapped spring-roll wrappers, then fried until golden.
  • Ginatang Bilo-Bilo - with glutinous rice balls, plantain bananas, sweet potatoes, jack fruit and tapioca pearls that is cooked in sweet coconut milk
  • Kutsinta - steamed sticky rice cakes.
  • Palitaw - flattened glutinous rice balls boiled and the coated with grated coconut, sugar, and sometimes roasted sesame seeds.
  • Biko - rice cake with a coconut caramel top
  • Buchi - fried glutinous rice balls covered in sesame seeds with red bean filling
  • Pichi Pichi - steamed cassava covered in grated coconut
  • Maja Blanca - coconut milk pudding or try the Kapampangan version, Tibok-tibok from carabao's milk

Banana plantain in caramel syrup with milk and ice

WANT MORE RECIPES? Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

Saba bananas in caramel syrup with tapioca pearls and milk
5 from 3 votes

Plantain Banana in Syrup (Minatamis na Saging)

This Minatamis na Saging is so easy to make requiring only 3 basic ingredients, plantain banana, brown sugar, and water.  It is a delicious and healthier option for dessert or snack that can be made fancier by just adding crushed ice, milk, and tapioca pearls.
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Asian,Filipino
Keyword: minatamis na saging
Servings: 6
Calories: 468kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 6 pieces plantain banana (Saging na Saba) - - each one cut into 3 parts diagonally
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract - (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt - (optional)
  • 1 cup cooked tapioca pearls (sago) - (optional)
  • 1 can evaporated milk - (optional)


  • In a saucepan, heat water until it boils. Add sugar and salt, stirring continuously until completely dissolved.
  • Add vanilla extract. Bring to boil then lower heat to medium. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the plantain bananas and cover. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes until bananas are tender and syrup has thickened. 
  • Add the tapioca pearls before and remove from heat. Let it cool down to room temperature or chill before serving.
  • Add ice (cubes or crushed) and evaporated milk to each serving.
Nutrition Facts
Plantain Banana in Syrup (Minatamis na Saging)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 468 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 25mg8%
Sodium 259mg11%
Potassium 341mg10%
Carbohydrates 96g32%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 63g70%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 210IU4%
Vitamin C 1.7mg2%
Calcium 287mg29%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.


More Tapioca Pearls/Sago Pearls Recipes


Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

This Post Has 10 Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this Recipe

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for this simple recipe. Made it two days in a row cause I flopped my first due to the uncooked sago. 😅😅😅 I was so excited to cook that I was not able to prepare my sago in advance (dipping it in the water for at least half a day!)

    1. My solution for that is to use small tapioca/sago pearls. They cook in 10-15 minutes directly added to boiling water.

  2. Minatamis na saging served in restaurants have that beautiful golden yellow color but the ones I make is pale and unappetizing to look at. Any suggestions?

    1. Do you use dark brown sugar? Light brown sugar will not give you a deep color like the dark one does. You should cook the sugar first to make the syrup thicker before adding the Saba bananas.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi. Thank you for the recipe, I'm using it to make my own minatamis.

    Just a note on the vanilla. It might be best to add it once you're finished and taken it off the heat, I heard that vanilla evaporates with heat application.

    Thank you again for the recipe:-)

Back To Top