Laissez Faire

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Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #64: Ma’s Cape Verdean Banana Gufong (Fungine/Fritter/Doughnuts) (#homecooking)

As I promised in a previous post, I have for you another Cape Verdean favorite.   I have made these in the past and failed miserably, however, I am older and wiser and have learned a few tricks.   And, yes, true to form I did wing it.  I didn’t want to have a bunch of these things in the house (pants-butt ratio, you know) and I needed to practice since it has been a long time.

There is another style made with cornmeal, but that is for another post.


I managed to pry an actual recipe from my “you know, enough” or “just a bit” grandmother.  Of course, adjust the sugar to your tastes. I have adapted the instructions to my style of cookery.  If you want to know the original instructions they are:  “You know, make a dough and fry it.”

Ma’s Gufong

3 ripe bananas (ripeness does affect taste, IMO. I prefer ripe but not totally black)

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

3 cups flour (all purpose, not bread flour)

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I halved this recipe and used a touch more sugar (they came out just a hair too sweet for my taste, so next time I will not add the extra).

Mash the bananas (I hate chunks so I pureed mine in a blender with a wee bit of liquid so I did have to use more flour to get a workable dough). Combine with dry ingredients to create soft dough.  Don’t over work or the gufong will be weapons ready.  Let it come together with a light touch.  Roll or form into preferred shape (I like the traditional sausage).  Cover and let rest 10-20 minutes before cooking.

Don’t make them too fat because they will puff up from the baking powder.  Too thick and they won’t cook all the way through (How do I know?  I just know okay.  I. Just. Know.)   Either pan fry or deep fry in oil to a rich, dark golden brown.   I always make one or two small ones to test the oil and I pan fry in a cast iron skillet (if the oil is too hot the gufong will burn but be raw inside).   If your oil is hot enough, these should absorb negligible amounts of oil.

These are at their best served fresh and warm. However, if you get a good golden coating on them and cook them all the way through, they will keep fine cold and taste just as good (but chewier).

I promise that the messed-up, haphazard, misshapen train wrecks are also tasty 🙂

Tips: I fry “by eye and ear”.

  1. I listen for when the oil starts to “talk” or I put a drop or two of water in it to listen for the sputter.
  2. I test fry one or two small pieces to see how fast they brown (if they burn instantly, yikes!)
  3. I watch the bubbles. I find that when pan frying, the bubbling around the dough slows down and almost stops when it reaches deep golden (if the bubbles have been slow for a while it is burning; if bubbling stops entirely it’s burnt).

Deep golden brown!

Enjoy!  Share with friends.  Or let out your pants.  Whatever works for you.

One comment on “Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #64: Ma’s Cape Verdean Banana Gufong (Fungine/Fritter/Doughnuts) (#homecooking)

  1. Pingback: Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #66: Cape Verdean Gufong (Cornmeal Fungine/Fritter/Doughnut/Hushpuppy) (#homecooking) | Laissez Faire

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