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Culinary Creations - Banana and its Flowers

  • A banana plant with a bunch of ripe yellow bananas


    One of the most important fruit crops in the world, banana is grown in the tropics but valued worldwide for its availability, flavour and nutritional value. Delicious when eaten raw, they can also be fried, mashed and chilled, or used to flavour breads, cakes or muffins. I love banana bread!


    Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, and is also high in dietary fibre, manganese, and vitamins B6 and C. But did you know that the banana flower can also be eaten, has modest amounts of calcium and iron, and is high in vitamins A and C?

  • Banana blossoms


    Common to Southeast Asian cuisine, banana blossoms are used in soups, stir fries, meat and vegetable stews and salads. The inner petals, or bracts, are the edible parts. To remove their starchy and bitter taste, soak them in a lemon juice and water mixture for half an hour, then rinse. They then become leek-like with a delicate taste and slight crunch. Try making the following dish for some bold flavour!

  • Recipe extracted from Hsaba on Yummly.com


    Banana Blossom and Prawn Curry

    1 banana blossom
    1 onion, quartered
    3 garlic cloves
    2 dried red chillies, soaked in hot water
    1 lemongrass stalk
    4 tablespoons of peanut oil
    1 teaspoon of shrimp paste
    1 tablespoon of rice flour
    150ml of water
    250g of raw prawns, peeled, deveined, with their tails on

    Serves 4
    1. Prepare the banana blossom as mentioned above.
    2. Pound the onion, garlic and chillies or chop everything very finely. Then heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the onion paste for 5 to 10 minutes.
    3. Add the shrimp paste and stir into the onion mixture.
    4. Squeeze dry the banana blossom and add to the pan.
    5. In a bowl, mix a little of the 150ml of water with rice flour to form a paste.
    6. Add this paste and remaining water to the pan. Stir and leave to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the blossoms are just tender.
    7. Put the prawns in and simmer for a further 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until opaque.
    8. Season and serve.
  • This article is part of our Culinary Creations series.

Written by: Debbie Chen, Assistant Director (Education, Programming)
Debbie is an ardent reader who often finds herself nose-deep in a dystopian novel. She has been involved in education since graduating from university, and enjoys bringing information to people in an engaging way that helps them see things in a new light. 

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