Monday, August 23, 2010

Suafa’i – Banana soup

By panipopos

This Samoan dish wouldn’t win any beauty contests. In fact, as a child, I used to think that suafa’i looked like brain matter, but that didn’t stop me from going back for seconds and thirds.

Suafa’I is a dessert/breakfast soup which can be eaten hot or cold. Versions of this soup can be found across Southeast Asia, but as far as I know, Samoans are they only ones to boil the heck out of the ripened bananas.

Use bananas that are past their prime and too mushy to eat, preferably covered in black spots, because these are sweeter and softer than perfectly ripe ones.

Tapioca pearls come in different sizes. Use the smaller ones because they cook faster. You can also use sago if tapioca is unavailable.

Suafa’i (serves 6)
8 medium overripe bananas
4 cups (1 litre) water
½ cup (100g) small tapioca pearls
1 cup (240ml) coconut milk
¼ - ½ cup (50-100g) sugar (optional)

Peel the bananas and place in a medium saucepan. You can roughly chop the bananas if you like, but it isn’t necessary as the boiling will soften them to the right consistency.

Add the water and then bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Break the bananas up with a wooden spoon, fork or masher.

Sprinkle the tapioca into the saucepan while stirring. Don’t add the tapioca all at once or it might clump, and keep stirring to separate the pearls and to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.

Add the coconut milk and then simmer over low/medium heat until the tapioca is cooked, about 15 minutes. Stir frequently. You’ll know the pearls are done when they turn translucent (no frogspawn/white eyeballs looking at you). 

Finally, taste the suafa’i. Sometimes your bananas will be sweet enough that you don’t need to add any sugar. If you like a little more sweetness, then add sugar to taste. 

Remove from the heat, leave for about 30 minutes to cool and then serve in a bowl or cup. You can also cool suafa’i completely, and refrigerate it. Once cooled, serve it as a snack or dessert.
 
* When the tapioca is mostly done, you can turn off the heat and the tapioca will cook through with the residual heat.
* Don’t leave the tapioca to simmer unchecked or the suafa’i might burn onto the bottom of your saucepan. 

http://www.samoafood.com



20 comments:

  1. gonna make this right nowwww ^_^

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  2. Thanks for posting that I'm going to make it tomorrow with sago yum :)

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  3. I'm making some tomorrow too...makes one heck of a breakfast!

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  4. thanks so much for sharing...i'm making this right now love your blog..

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  5. your house must smell so good...hope your suafa'i tastes just as good.

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  6. I have been reading your blog for the last couple of days and really wanted to give a recipe a try. So I decided to try something easy like the suafa'i. I was born and raised in Samoa my whole life and it's sad because I do not know how to make any Samoan food. But I am willing to give it a try now because I have been craving it for so long and where I live right now has no Samoan store or anything around. Hopefully my suafa'i will come out right. Thanks!!

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  7. Like they say, you don't know what you've got till its gone...in my case, that's definitely been Samoan food...Hope your suafa'i is delicious! Enjoy the blog.

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  8. hey im a kiwi and im making it right now smells amazing excited (:

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  9. Hi brieley, hope it tastes as good as it smells!

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  10. Hello! Thanks for the recipe :)

    I was wondering... how long would suafa'i stay fresh if I refrigerate it? I ended up making too much and it might take me a while to finish!

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  11. I wouldn't know, have never had any left over. But my guess is 2-3 days.

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  12. ummm yummy... I had some the other day, and the cook added a little lemon zest to it... even better and i thought that wasnt possible!

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    1. Sounds like a delightful addition. Thank you.

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  13. my moms thai and she would love this! i love how much coconut is in both thai and samoan food... & im real glad i found your website because i just left new zealand and was bummed that i never got to catch a sunday feed and now i can just make the stuff i missed out on. might not be the same but i can remember my new p. i. friends :) <3

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    1. Have a look around and enjoy. Thanks for visiting.

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  14. thank you so much for posting this recipe! im 5xmonths pregnant, living overseas and been craving suafai for a good couple of months with no idea how to make it until this morning.. ready to dig in:)

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  15. im gonna make this tonight....yummy

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  16. I post a number of recipes including for smoothies and various health drinks with Samoan or Pacific orientation. See: facebook.com/Mafaufauga

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  17. Can you use this exact recipe & change the fa'i with pawpaw? will there be any variations?like cooking time?

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