Inspired by a dessert from Beijing's China Club restaurant, chef and restaurateur Cecilia Chiang coats fried bananas in a thin, delicate shell of caramel.
Yield: serves 6-8
Peanut oil, for frying
6 egg whites
1⁄3 cup cornstarch
3 tbsp. flour
5 slightly underripe bananas, peeled and quartered
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp. canola oil
Fill a bowl with ice water; set aside. Heat 2" peanut oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375°. Whisk egg whites in a bowl until fluffy. Slowly whisk in cornstarch and flour until an almost smooth batter forms. Working in batches, dip bananas in batter; fry, flipping once, until golden, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bananas to paper towels to drain.
Heat sugar, canola oil, and ½ cup water in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved and caramel is golden, about 20 minutes; reduce heat to low and keep warm. Using tongs or two forks, dip bananas in caramel, then drop into ice water briefly to harden sugar. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.