FOR THE SAUCE:
Make the coconut-caramel sauce: Version #1: Combine the palm sugar and coconut milk in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Let the coconut mixture simmer briskly until it is thick, golden, and very flavorful, about 5 minutes, whisking often. Remove the pan from the heat and let the coconut-caramel sauce cool to room temperature. Place the sauce in a deep bowl. It can be prepared up to a day ahead and refrigerated, covered. Let the coconut-caramel sauce return to room temperature before using.
Version #2: Place the sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and cook the sugar until it melts, turns golden brown, becomes very fragrant, and starts to smoke, 3 to 6 minutes. Swirl the pan so the sugar cooks evenly, but do not stir it. Dont let the sugar burn. As soon as the sugar browns, remove the pan from the heat and add the coconut milk. Stand backthe mixture will hiss and sputter like Mount Vesuvius. Return the mixture to the heat and let simmer, whisking, until the sugar dissolves completely. Let the coconut-caramel sauce cool to room temperature. Place the sauce in a shallow bowl. The caramel sauce can be prepared up to a day ahead and refrigerated, covered.
FOR THE BANANAS:
Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat it to high.
When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Peel the bananas and skewer them through one end, if desired. Grill the bananas until they are lightly browned and partially cooked, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Dip the bananas in the coconut-caramel sauce (thats where the skewer comes in handy) or brush the bananas on all sides, using a basting brush, and return them to the grill. Continue grilling the bananas until they are darkly browned and sizzling, 1 to 3 minutes per side longer. Use a bamboo skewer to test for doneness; it should easily pierce the banana. Transfer the bananas to a platter or bowls. Spoon the remaining coconut-caramel sauce on top and serve at once.
Notes: Palm sugar is the traditional sweetener of Thailand. Don’t worry if you can’t find it: In this recipe, it’s virtually indistinguishable from light brown sugar.
The bananas used for grilling in Thailand tend to be harder and starchier than their North American counterparts. So grill masters, like Saisuwan, use a two-step grilling process, partially flattening the bananas with a heavy weight halfway through. This helps the bananas grill more evenly. To do this, transfer the bananas to a cutting board after the first 1 to 2 minutes of grilling and lightly flatten them with a scaloppine pounder or the side of a heavy cleaver. Dip each banana in the coconut-caramel sauce, or brush both sides with the sauce, and return the bananas to the grill. Continue grilling the bananas until they are golden brown and cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes longer per side.
[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Vegan Grilled banans with coconut-caramel sauce – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]