Indonesia – Pisang Gapit

by Fauzan Anandika

Ever you imagine eating a grilled banana? Pisang Gapit is a grilled banana, a traditional snack from East Borneo. Gapit comes from Kutai tribe languages means clamped. Pour with palm sugar sauce, and press until flatten. Using a semi-ripped banana makes Pisang Gapit have a chewy texture and flavorful. So delicious to eat in the evening, accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee. The local people in East Borneo eat Pisang Gapit after they come back from farming, chatting with a neighbor and their family.

Borneo island was inhabitant for several banana species because it has a huge rain forest. For the human, the banana was a useful plant, from preventing anemia, cleaning the urinary tract, and even it fit for a diet meal. As a local food Pisang Gapit, not only delicious but also healthy. For the main ingredient, local people use Pisang Kepok (saba banana) or Pisang Tanduk (cow horn banana). Using saba banana gives a solid texture and more satiating, but when using cow horn banana, it tastes sweater. Saba banana will create a wide shape on the dish while the cow horn banana makes slimmer shapes. For nutrients and calories, there is no difference.  

In Samarinda, East Borneo province capital city, Pisang Gapit can be found in many street food stalls, especially on the Mahakam riverside. Some hotels also serve Pisang Gapit as their side menu. They modify the topping by adding chocolate, sprinkles, and cheese.

What makes Pisang Gapit special is the sauce. They use thick palm sugar sauce made of coconut milk, palm sugar, and pandan leaf, topped with grated coconut and palm sugar known as unti. Create smooth, appetizing aroma, and not to sweet taste. Already feel it in your mouth? Well, let’s cook it anyway.


  • 8 pieces pisang kepok (saba banana)
  • Margarine

Sauce Ingredient

  • 500 ml of water
  • ½ liter coconut milk
  • 50-gram palm sugar
  • Cornstarch to coagulate
  • 2 sheet pandan leaf
  • Salt

How to make

  1. Grill banana for a moment until it loses it gum maximum 1 minutes.
  2. Press banana until flattened.
  3. Spread some margarine and then grill it again.
  4. Move it to the serving plate when it already burnt a little.

How to make the sauce

  1. Dissolve cornstarch with water, don’t use too much water.
  2. Boil palm sugar with 500 ml of water using a boiling pot.
  3. Strain the sugar sauce and boil it again.
  4. Add coconut milk to the boiling pot.
  5. Pour solvent cornstarch.
  6. Add pandan leaf.
  7. Add some salt.
  8. Stir until condensed.
  9. Pour the sauce into the serving plate that is already contains grilled banana.

Pisang Gapit taste good while still hot. Enjoy.

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