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Banana Coconut Sundae

banana coconut sundae

Coconut rum adds a kick to this classic dessert riff.

Aiming to take the intimidation factor out of tackling new recipes, Pailin Chongchitnant brings the same playful approachability from her popular YouTube cooking show, Hot Thai Kitchen, to her book, Sabai. Born and raised in Thailand before attending the University of British Columbia and Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, Chongchitnant presents some of her favorite Thai flavors and dishes for everyday cooking, like this simple-yet-decadent dessert riff, banana coconut sundae (itim raad sauce gluay hom).

“It’s a mash-up of Bananas Foster, which I learned to make in culinary school, and one of my favorite Thai street snacks, gluay ping, which is grilled bananas with a to-die-for coconut palm sugar caramel sauce,” writes Chongchitnant. The creamy caramel sauce gets a flavorful boost from a nice glug of coconut rum before the whole concoction is topped with ice cream and peanuts. “The chopped peanuts are an ode to Thai ice cream carts, which have various toppings you can choose from, but the peanuts are always added, like the cherry on a sundae.”


  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. (35 g) finely chopped palm sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk
  • 1/8 tsp. (0.5 ml) table salt
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) coconut-flavored rum (optional)
  • 2 slightly underripe bananas, cut in 1/3-inch (8 mm) thick slices on a sharp diagonal
  • Vanilla or coconut ice cream
  • Roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • Tools:12-inch skillet, pan
  • Garnish:chopped roasted peanuts


Melt the butter in a 12-inch (30 cm) skillet over medium heat, then add the palm sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until it melts and caramelizes into a deeper brown, caramel color.

Once the sugar has darkened to the desired color, immediately add the coconut milk; the sugar will seize up and bubble aggressively. When the bubbling subsides, add the salt and rum. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly.

Place the bananas in the pan in one layer. Cook just until heated through, about 30 seconds, flipping the pieces halfway through or basting the tops with the sauce.

Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for a few minutes, until warm but no longer hot. If you do decide to make this dessert in advance, heat it up just until it’s warm before serving.

To serve, place a few pieces of banana around some ice cream in a small bowl and drizzle the sauce over top. Sprinkle with chopped roasted peanuts.

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