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Coconut Chicken Fingers with Banana Ketchup

These crispy baked chicken fingers are coated with a combination of unsweetened coconut and panko crumbs and served with banana ketchup for dipping. Banana ketchup is a classic Filipino condiment made from puréed bananas, spices and vinegar. It's sweet and sour flavor is unique thanks to the addition of allspice, curry powder and fresh ginger.

Coconut Chicken Fingers with Banana Ketchup

Coconut Chicken Fingers with Banana Ketchup

  • Ingredients:
  • 4 bananas
  • 6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • For the chicken fingers:
  • 1-3/4 lbs chicken tenderloins, halved lengthwise
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/4 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup panko

Preparation:
Place the bananas, rice wine vinegar, jalapeño, onion, ginger, allspice, curry powder, soy sauce, vanilla extract and tomato paste in the work bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside until ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment.

Add the chicken to a large bowl, drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix until the chicken is well coated with the oil.

Add the shredded, unsweetened coconut and panko crumbs to a food storage bag and shake to combine. Add about half of the chicken fingers and shake to coat. Arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet and repeat the process with the remaining chicken.

Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Be careful not to overcook.

Serve with banana ketchup for dipping.

Makes 8 appetizer servings

Recipe Notes:
Most recipes for banana ketchup don't include any tomato flavor and the commercial versions are generally tinted red with food coloring. We chose to add some tomato paste both for color and added thickness. The flavor it imparts is subtle and blends quite well with the spices.

Leftover banana ketchup can be frozen, tightly covered, for up to six weeks without any change in color or flavor.

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