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Growing up, there was a certain restaurant that my aunt always took me to for my birthday. You might be wondering, why only once a year? Well, this was a Japanese restaurant in the middle of a large city, and the plates that you could choose from started at $20 a plate... yeah... not always in a working family's budget. The name of this extravagant place is Kanpai: Japanese Steak and Seafood House. Saying that Kanpai has mesmerizing food is an understatement. The waitresses come to take your order dressed in kimonos, the decor is decked with those tiny little cats and waving arms, and the chefs come to cook IN FRONT OF YOU. Alongside all of this, since it was my birthday every time we went, the waitresses, chef, and even the owners of the place would come out and sing happy birthday to you. Embarrassing? Yes. Especially for a seven-year-old Samantha that just wanted to get to the best part of the meal... the dessert.
I always ordered the same thing each time that I would go to Kanpai: Steak (cooked medium) and shrimp, with fried rice and mixed vegetables, ginger and white sauce on the side. And even though I would get a plate the size of my head cooked right in front of me and only eat half of it if I was lucky, I was always prepared for the end of the meal. I named them sticky nanas when I was about five, and since then, I request them without a doubt any time that I walk through the door. Sticky nanas are a soft, sweet, yet not overly sweet, form of dessert that I would personally walk to the ends of the earth for.
Their recipe for sticky nanas differs from mine slightly because they add sesame seeds at the ending—and I love sesame seeds, but I can never seem to remember to buy them when I’m in the store.
My version of the recipe is on what you could call a “three ingredient fix.” Its simple: Bananas, honey, and cinnamon (optional).
- 2 to 4 bananas
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of honey
- A pinch or two of cinnamon
- Heat a non-stick sauce pan over medium-high heat and cut your bananas into inch thick slices. (I cut off the little black-end bites because they get super hard when you try and cook them.)
- Once the pan is heated thoroughly, place the bananas into the pan. There should be a slight sizzle, but it shouldn’t sound like you are trying to deep fry them.
- The aroma of the warming bananas will start to fill the air and make it known that it’s time to flip them. They will be glazed to the pan and might even stick a little, even with a non-stick pan, this is the natural sugars coming out of the banana.
- Once flipped, add in the tablespoons of honey, and cut the pan down to a medium heat. Stir everything together until evenly coated.
Once evenly coated, they are ready to come out. You don’t want them to turn to mush (like baby food), but you want them to still have that bite of a banana with a little gooey to it!
I hope you guys enjoyed my story behind this recipe, and I hope you enjoy the food! Remember, don’t knock it until you try it!