Banana Blossom/Banana Heart Stew in Coconut Milk
They say, the next vegan star that has caught the attention of the international market is the banana blossom/heart which can be made as burger patty or veggie burger and veggie fillet with fries (as alternative to fish fillet). In the Philippines, there are a number of dishes with banana blossom/heart, of them, I’ll feature the famous one.
This dish is called, ‘Gulay na Puso ng Saging’ or stewed banana blossom/heart in coconut milk with smoked fish flakes. It is a typical dish in every Filipino table. Once cooked, this will give you a different take on vegetables, if you’re a meat lover. The banana blossom/heart stew in coconut milk has that chewy, flaky and creamy taste.
What are the ingredients?
The ingredients include, 6 cups thinly sliced banana heart/blossoms, 6 cups coconut milk, 5-6 pieces flaked smoked fish (tinapa), 6 pieces green and red chili, 1 piece red onion, 5 pieces garlic cloves, 1 piece ginger. Please remember to trim off the hard outer layers of the banana blossoms and cut them into thin strips. Another tip is to coat them with salt and water, pressed them hard to extract its bitter juice. Rinse them with water and press them again, like the one we do with the coconut meat to extract the juice. For the coconut meat, you need to press them with a little water to extract the milk. The cost of all these ingredients would be around $3.00.
For the cooking process, when all the ingredients have been prepared already, sautee the garlic, ginger and red onions, add in the smoked fish flakes (with no bones). When the flakes are already turning brown, add in the coconut milk. Wait until it boils, then add the banana heart/blossom. Simmer until the liquid has reduced and become a little oily. Add in the chili and 1 tablespoon of chili and garlic paste. As for me, I use Chili Ni Baggy, a local product by Herbert Zaragosa. Add a dash of sugar for a more delicious taste.
Even when I was just a kid, when we heard that our viand would be this dish, we would run fast towards our home when the clock rings at 6:00 PM. We love the taste and the texture as we’re like eating meat but in a very nutritious way through banana blossoms/heart. If you don’t eat fish, you can just take out the smoked fish flake in the list of ingredients. I hope you’ll find your way cooking this dish! Have a super ‘hearty’ meal! 🙂