Banana heart: how to trim and prepare

Banana heart: how to trim and prepare

The banana heart is the flower of the banana plant. From it grow the fruits. I’d rather not delve into the botanic terms save to say that the banana plant is not a tree. That is something I learned in grade school. If you want more detailed scientific discussion, you can click here.

In the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries, the banana heart itself is edible at that stage when it is cooked as a vegetable. It is most commonly served as a salad or as a sauteed vegetable dish often with coconut milk.

Here is a visual illustration for the trimming and preparation of the banana heart for cooking.

Above, that’s how the banana heart looks when you buy it.

Banana heart: how to trim and prepare

Start by pulling off the outer layers which are very fibrous and certainly unfit for human consumption. The layers come off easily, just pull them out.

Keep pulling out layers until you reach the soft core. The banana heart will be half its original size at this point but, don’t worry, you’ll get a lot out of it.

Cut off the stem portion and discard.

Cut the banana heart into halves.

Slice thinly. The banana heart is ready to cook at this point. If you’re not using it immediately, to avoid discoloration, soak in cold salted water.

The most common way of cooking the banana heart is with coconut milk (click here for the recipe). Leftovers can be drained and made into spring rolls. The banana heart spring roll recipe and photos will be posted in a while.

Connie Veneracion

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

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13 Responses

  1. jaja says:

    I was able to eat a veggie burger that used this as the main ingredient in the patty. Sayang lang I was not able to get the recipe for it.

  2. jaja says:

    yey! will wait for your next posts :D thanks!!! :)

  3. City Share says:

    Wow, I didn’t even know a banana heart existed. I always love learning new things from my fellow food bloggers. Thanks for the directions!

  4. April says:

    My mom used to make this as an extender for anything, patties, meatballs, and yes, spring rolls.

    Sometimes, if she has no budget at all, it’s just pure puso ng saging.

    My lunchmates at school never knew my baon is vegetable!

  5. Natz SM says:

    Would any one know if there is any difference in the taste of rounder shaped banana heart as shown in the picture compared to the more elongated ones?

    My Lola always specified that I buy the elongated variety but I never asked her why. :)

    • Connie says:

      None. The long white ones are just more tender and with less layers to pull out.

      • Natz SM says:

        Thanks Ms. Connie!

        I simply thought that my Lola preferred the elongated ones because they seemed just the right size when sliced into rings for kari-kare.

        Nowadays, when I purchase banana heart for dishes other than kari-kare, I buy them pre-shredded. Same with langka and labong…right where I buy the coconut cream. :)

  6. lennon Dabreo says:

    anyone has statistics for the banana heart’s nutritional value?

  7. Rinna says:

    I should have read this before I cooked my Kare Kare with puso ng saging. I didn’t peel it back far enough and the puso ng saging tasted so bitter.

  8. Connie says:

    And very fibrous… :(

  1. July 8, 2012

    […] tough outer layers of puso ng sagingĀ and cut inner layers into 2″ x 2″ pieces (see banana heart: how to trim and prepare). Cut the eggplants into 2″ x 2″ […]

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