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Bananas in savory dishes


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31 replies to this topic

#1 _john

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 06:12 PM

I have had a few savory dishes that included bananas (not plantains) as an ingredient. The most notable was a smoked pork chop with a salty/spicy banana chutney. This got me wondering about other possible uses for bananas.

I went home, peeled a banana, sprinkled it with a very small amount of kosher salt, and ate it with a fork. It was amazing! A whole new experience. I would recommend anyone to try it.

Have you had any encounters with savory bananas? ideas for use in savory dishes?

Edited by _john, 12 January 2006 - 06:13 PM.


#2 shona m f pearson

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 07:10 PM

Crazyweed - an outstanding small restaurant in Canmore, Alberta, serves their (amazing) curries with a banana chutney that I'm still thinking about !!! Have failed to come up with anything close to it - but open to input from all......

#3 ludja

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 07:27 PM

Huevos Motulenos (an egg dish from the Yucatan) was surprisingly delicious to me the first time I had it.

The version I've had at Cafe Pasqual's in Santa Fe has fried eggs on top of black beans, green chile sauce and corn tortillas. Along side are served sauteed bananas, cooked green peas, feta cheese (as a sub for fresh Mexcian cheese), and garnishes of salsa fresca and cilantro. The flavors really come together and the banana really makes it.

Bayless also has a version of the dish in "Mexican Kitchen".
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#4 Eden

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 07:48 PM

My mom used to make "babootie" an African dish with ground lamb, some tomato sauce apricots and bananas. I have no idea where she found the recipe, but it is SOOO good. And I usually beleive that bananas should only be eaten raw, on their own, no messing with them...
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#5 Timh

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 09:20 PM

I'm told that Frank Brigtsen (of Britsen's in New Orleans) uses bananas in his bbq sauce.

#6 nakji

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 09:54 PM

I remember reading a recipe in Gourmet of a yellow curry that called for them to be cut up and mixed in at the end....I really enjoyed it.

#7 KatieLoeb

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 10:26 PM

There's a really delicious brand of Banana Ketchup that's sweet and spicy, but definitely meant for savory applications. It's either from the Philippines or Indonesia, I can't remember. I like it much better than tomato ketchup myself, which I find far too sweet. The banana ketchup is amazing on French fries! I'll see if I can find out the name of the brand of ketchup and a picture of a bottle.

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#8 misgabi

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 01:30 AM

We used to have a dish in Papua New Guinea that was vegetables (potato, sweet potato, carrot and onion) as well as chokos cooked with chicken pieces in coconut milk with big hunks of banana cooked into it (apparently it helped thicken it). It had a curry undertone so must have had some curry powder in there somewhere (I never made it, but ate it often at the houses of people who had lived there for quite some time).

Was sort of like a really coconut milky massaman (delicious).

#9 _john

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 01:48 AM

There's a really delicious brand of Banana Ketchup that's sweet and spicy, but definitely meant for savory applications.  It's either from the Philippines or Indonesia, I can't remember.  I like it much better than tomato ketchup myself, which I find far too sweet.  The banana ketchup is amazing on French fries! I'll see if I can find out the name of the brand of ketchup and a picture of a bottle.

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That is called Jufran if I recall correctly. good stuff.

#10 FabulousFoodBabe

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 05:17 AM

I can remember in the fog of a long-ago food memory, having banana-mint pesto. It wasn't bad. The texture was kinda weird, though. I wish I could remember ...
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#11 Papaya

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 07:01 AM

When I was in Mexico I heard of bananas sliced up in lentil soup. I never got to try it myself though I did have lentil soup with pineapple chunks, which was delicious.

#12 jsolomon

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 07:09 AM

I would think that banana could be paired with chiles quite easily, just like most sweet tropical fruits.

Recipesource has a recipe for banana catsup. I've never tried it, but it looks vaguely reasonable. I think I'd at least triple the cayenne, but I'm a borderline chile-head.
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#13 BarbaraY

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 08:06 AM

As a rule I don't care for hot bananas but the Huevos Motuleños looks as if it would be something I would enjoy. Will check the Bayless recipe.

My favorite savory banana dish is Banana Raita. The creamy yogurt and banana with toasted, crushed black mustard is excellent.

#14 fud

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 03:17 PM

^ There is an excellent asian style braised lamb recipe HERE which uses bananas as a flavour ingredient. It is excellent and once the lamb is done you blend the bananas into the sauce and reduce (till sexy). Really good!
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#15 ludja

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 03:36 PM

As a rule I don't care for hot bananas but the Huevos Motuleños looks as if it would be something I would enjoy. Will check the Bayless recipe.

My favorite savory banana dish is Banana Raita. The creamy yogurt and banana with toasted, crushed black mustard is excellent.

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Thanks for mentioning the Banana Raita; sounds interesting.

I just glanced at the Bayless version of Huevos Motulenos and it does look very promising--and probably closer to versions in the Yucatan-- tomato-habanero sauce, fried plantains (or bananas), fried beans, ham, peas, Mexican queso fresca and corn tortillas--with the eggs.

I've made the Bayless' recipe for the simmered tomato-habanero many times and it is simple to make and very good! (wonderful for enchiladas)
"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#16 drbbq

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 06:12 PM

I would think that banana could be paired with chiles quite easily, just like most sweet tropical fruits.

Recipesource has a recipe for banana catsup.  I've never tried it, but it looks vaguely reasonable.  I think I'd at least triple the cayenne, but I'm a borderline chile-head.

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I saw an old Trader Vic recipe that called for bananas and yams, but it needed something so I added a little habanero and made it savory. I don't generally use habs, but the sweet bananas and yams needed something to beat them down.

My recipe calls for finishing in the BBQ pit, well, because that's just who I am, but it's fine in the oven.

Yams, Bananas and Habs

This idea comes from an old island recipe. I added the habanero, because the taste was just a little flat without it. There’s no such thing as a flat dish with habanero. Be very careful when handling habaneros. I wear rubber gloves.

4 medium yams, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 habanero chile, seeded, deveined and minced (you may want to use only 1/2 of the habanero because they are very hot)
4 large bananas, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons butter, cut in to small pieces
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Prepare the cooker indirect at 325, using apple wood for flavor. In a kettle of boiling salted water, cook the yams until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and reserve. In a big skillet over medium heat, add the oil. When it’s hot, add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and the habanero, cook for 2 minutes. Add the bananas, cook for 3 minutes. Add the yams, butter, salt and pepper. Toss everything well to coat. Cook for another 5 minutes, mashing the yams and bananas and mixing everything together. Transfer to a foil pan. Place in the cooker for one hour. Remove and serve.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

#17 Mooshmouse

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 06:27 PM

There's a really delicious brand of Banana Ketchup that's sweet and spicy, but definitely meant for savory applications.  It's either from the Philippines or Indonesia, I can't remember.  I like it much better than tomato ketchup myself, which I find far too sweet.  The banana ketchup is amazing on French fries! I'll see if I can find out the name of the brand of ketchup and a picture of a bottle.

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I believe you're thinking of either Mafran, Del Monte or the most commonly known Jufran Banana Sauce which is available in both regular and hot varieties. Horrendously addictive stuff!
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#18 scubadoo97

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 08:13 PM

I have used a banana in mole. It gives it a very rich smooth texture.

#19 McDuff

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 09:35 AM

I worked at a place where we had a dish called Sole Caprice, which was basically sole meuniere which was finished with almonds, sliced bananas, butter, parsley and a squeeze of lemon. It was probably ripped off from the first Four Seasons Cookbook, sold really well.

#20 lia

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 07:11 PM

I've seen this recipe for Banana-Black Bean Empanadas lying on a desk at work. Thought it sounded nasty, but I was intrigued and made it anyway. They weren't nasty. I've made them many times since.

and at Citrus, a restaurant on the Upper West Side in NYC, they have a spicy tuna-banana roll. Again, I couldn't imagine how that could possibly be any good, but it was delicious and I get it every time I'm there.

#21 Toliver

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 10:45 AM

Peohe's on Coronado, across the bay from San Diego, serves a Halibut Mai'a. It's a halibut filet sautéed with macadamia nuts, bananas and Frangelico. It's quite good.
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#22 ecr

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 06:46 PM

Bananas are common in Vietnamese cuisine -- eg. as an ingredient in bun oc (noodle "stew" with snails) and as part of the lettuce/veg/herb platter that comes with steamed fish and rice wrappers.

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#23 wlg

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 02:23 PM

Crescent Dragonwagon's cookbook has a recipe for a salad that includes sliced roasted beet, sliced orange, and sliced red onion, with mixed field greens and a mango vinagrette with small banana dice included at the end. As Dragonwagon notes, she was sceptical of banana and onion, but it goes well.

#24 helenjp

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 06:06 PM

Toliver:

halibut filet sautéed with macadamia nuts, bananas and Frangelico


I like bananas with fish too, though usually stuffed with a kind of quick hash of onion, red peppers and chilis, and banana, and then baked.

A flatmate used to sautee onions, then add spinach and banana. That was surprisingly good.

#25 jturn00

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 07:13 AM

Arte Culinaire recently had an issue with bananas. They were used in both sweet and savory dishes. One that I noticed which I may try at home was a banana vindaloo.

#26 PPPans

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 02:56 AM

In Filipino-style pochero and arroz ala Cubana.

Saute ground meat in garlic, onions and a bit of tomatoes (or tomato sauce). Add some salt and diced potatoes and raisins. Set aside. Fry some plantains sliced length-wise. Fry an egg, sunnyside up. Serve egg on top of rice, plantains and meat side-by-side.

Rice can be steamed or fried.

#27 stef_foodie

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 02:17 PM

here's a recipe for tostones: http://www.dominican...es/tostones.htm

jufran/mafran is addictive, but yikes! all that food coloring. however, i've tried making it from scratch and can't quite match the flavor... yet.

the hot version is awesome with fried mini spring rolls/Filipino lumpiang shanghai.
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#28 Beanie

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 03:02 PM

I worked at a place where we had a dish called Sole Caprice, which was basically sole meuniere which was finished with almonds, sliced bananas, butter, parsley and a squeeze of lemon. It was probably ripped off from the first Four Seasons Cookbook, sold really well.

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A friend of mine once served sole sauteed with bananas, topped with hollandaise sauce. It was delicious. Forgot all about it until reading this thread.
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#29 pastrymama

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 03:22 PM

Samoans love cooked bananas but they use very green, rock hard ones that they peel and then boil or bake until soft. Like a potato. They also sometimes drain them and cover with coconut milk with a little salt and cook until the milk gets a little thick. Really good, but the bananas must be extremely green or they will have a strange flavor.
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#30 jo-mel

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 08:11 PM

All the above sound great and interesting - so I won't mention that old stand-by -----banana and peanut butter.