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Friday, July 5, 2019

Making Banana Flower Salad


On my trip to Greece, most of the food I saw being sold was pretty standard, not things that made me go "huh?" Other than this. This was in Vera's mom's fridge and I had never seen them before. Her mom called it banana hearts, which Vera told me is a banana flower, and that you can use it as a vegetable.



I decided that I must try it out, but things got really busy and I didn't have a chance to make it there, so I ended up bringing it home with me and making it today. However, it got a bit old in my suitcase while traveling, so the outside layer got a bit moldy, but fortunately the inside still was good. However, it looks like the banana blossoms inside got more brown than they'd generally be, but I have no idea as this was my first time opening up one.



I found this video that showed how to prepare banana flowers. Every video and website I saw had different instructions, but this is the one I decided to go with.



I peeled off the outside layers, but once they started being mostly while I put those aside as well.


I took out the blossoms and set them aside, cleaning them as instructed in another video. But I didn't use them for this salad, since they ended up tasting chalky raw.

I sliced up the purplish white and totally white center of the blossom, and then chopped it finely. I then soaked it in lemony water, to remove bitterness and chalkiness.

After 30 minutes, I strained it. Many banana flower recipes hail from Asia, so I decided to do this with a similar Asian style seasoning, mostly Korean style. I added vinegar (apple cider vinegar is my basic), soy sauce, garlic powder, ginger, hot pepper flakes, sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, and then added some julienned carrots and scallions for color.

Tastes delicious.

I served it, as traditional, using the outer banana flower leaves as little serving plates.


So I must admit, the banana flower tasted somewhat like banana peel, but once I soaked it and added the other ingredients, they are a pretty neutral taste and a good base for other ingredients in this salad, not that different from my banana peel pulled pork.

Have you ever heard of people eating banana flowers before? Ever eat it? How was it prepared? What recipes do you use for your banana flowers?

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