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Banana Blossom


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While shopping at an Asian grocery today I saw banana blossoms and of course had to buy some. Before I did some online research I thought I would candy them for garnish for an event tomorrow night.

I see the more traditional uses are stews and salads. Anyone have experience with these?

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If you are going to candy them, I would blanch the pieces first, as they can be quite bitter. The other thing is that once peeled or cut, the blossoms oxidize and go brown quite quickly.

You don't want to use the outer purplish coloured petals, (they are very tough) you want to use the inner more white/yellowish petals.

These are very traditional in either a braised dish or in Thai style-salads. Usually they are blanched first for the salad, and then quickly cooked with the salad ingredients. The salads are generally chili based or coconut milk based.

I am sure that there are some Filipino applications as well, but am less familiar with those.

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I am sure that there are some Filipino applications as well, but am less familiar with those.

You could try paksiw na pata (braised pig's feet)

Ingredients are pig's feet, water, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, black peppercorns, sugar, dried banana blossoms and a couple of bay leaves. Serve over steamed rice.

My grandmother occasionally makes fried bananas as a side dish. These are miniature bananas -- I don't think you can get them here in the U.S.

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I was surfing Googlebooks and came across this recipe for Oyster & Banana Blossom Salad:


I've never tried the oyster salad. But I have eaten a banana blossom & chicken salad like this one:

Banana Blossom & Chicken Salad on this blog, with a link to the recipe on the MSNBC website:


Banana blossom slivers in salads are tough and astringent. The astringency is very much a Thai flavor, not an American one. In Thailand I ate a relish of coconut, salted fermented crab, and sauteed pork, which you scooped up with banana blossom leaves. That was the first time I thought banana blossom tasted really good. All those other strong flavors balanced the astringency of the banana blossoms.

The banana blossoms, especially the undeveloped buds, are very showy in a salad, and a novelty. It's worth giving them a try. good luck!

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First of all, did you buy fresh banana blossoms or dried? The dried ones are used in Spanish stews like the paksiw. The fresh ones can be used for soups and salads. To make a pickled salad, you cut the blossoms crosswise and blanch them with boiling water. You can blanch them with brine water and then rinse and squeeze out the excess water. Then you add coconut milk, vinegar, slices of ginger and a little salt. Makes for one tasty salad.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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I took a cooking class the first trip we made to Vietnam. We made a great banana flower salad. I'll see if I can find my journals and see if I've written the recipe in there.

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Going to try to add the recipe here - note that fish sauce will have to be added to the lemon/lime juice and sugar mixture to taste - because while I know she put it in there - it wasn't in the recipe I was given.

Banana Flower Salad

Recipe By : chef at hotel Metropole in Hanoi

Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00

Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

2 fresh banana flowers

3 to 4 ounces cooked pork tenderloin

3 to 4 ounces poached chicken breast

1 sour star fruit

2 small bunches of mixed vietnamese herbs

3 ounces bean sprouts

juice of two lemons (or one lemon, one lime)

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup roasted peanuts

2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds

1 teaspoon hot chili garlic sauce -- or siracha

salt and pepper

fish sauce

Slice banana flower in half lengthwise, then in thin slices across. Soak in water containing the juice of one of the lemons.

Julienne the meats. Slice the starfruit and mix with some of the sugar. Blanch the bean sprouts, then plunge into ice water.

Chop herbs, peanuts. Keep some herbs whole to garnish. Mix the remaining sugar, juice of other lemon (or lime juice if you prefer) and hot sauce. Add fish sauce to taste.

Drain banana flower and bean sprouts. Mix all together with salt, pepper. Dress with the sweetened juice.

I'm pretty sure the chef added some fish sauce - although the recipe didn't state that. I think you want to get that perfect sweet, sour salty combination of lime, fish sauce and sugar for the dressing.

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Over in the Cambodian/Khmer Cooking topic, I posted a pictorial on fried banana flower fritters. They're a nice change if you want to do something other than a salad, and they look quite striking when they're sliced up.

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