Ginataang puso ng saging (banana bud/blossom in coconut cream)

Ginataang puso ng saging (banana bud/blossom in coconut cream)

I was in high school when I first learned to cook guinataang puso ng saging. I remember my father advising that I choose the puso ng saging that was long, cream-colored and no more than three inches in diameter at the thickest part. Why that was preferable over the more common fat reddish and fat puso ng saging, I never asked, although I suspected it had something to do with the numerous varieties of banana available in the Philippines. One time years later, when I was obliged to use the non-preferred variety, I realized that the long cream-colored puso ng saging was more tender and required a shorter cooking time.

Pork traditionally goes into this dish but I have tried versions using daing (salted dried fish). This is the traditional recipe except for the addition of cilantro.

Cut 250 grams of pork liempo (belly) into 1-inch cubes (they will shrink during cooking, anyway, so don’t worry that they’re rather large at this point). Peel and finely mince a whole garlic. Peel and finely slice a large onion.

Heat 3-4 tablespoonfuls of cooking oil in a wide shallow pan (I always recommend a wok for all-purpose cooking). When smoking hot, add the pork and cook, stirring, until no longer pink. Add the garlic and onion, season with patis, and continue cooking for a few minutes. Pour in 2-3 cups of water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the pork is very tender.


Trim 3-6 chili peppers (siling haba), depending on how hot you want your ginataang puso ng saging to be, cut into 1/4-inch rings and add to the pork.

Prepare the puso ng saging (I used two pieces) by removing the outer layers. Keep at it until you reach the light creamy inner portion. I usually remove three of the outer layers but with more mature puso ng saging, you may need to remove more. Discard the outer layers (these are too tough and fibrous). Cut the puso ng saging into half inch rings and add to the pork. See the illustration.


Cook the pork and vegetables for a few minutes. The puso ng saging takes no more than 10 minutes to cook. Then, pour in a cup (or more, if you prefer) of coconut cream. Stir well. Taste and add more patis, if necessary. Boil gently, uncovered, for about three minutes.

Turn off the heat. Let stand, uncovered, for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro (ah, the difference that cilantro makes!), stir a few times then serve with hot rice.

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  1. Rose says

    I love that stuff, but I haven’t been able to find it in Australia :( The Malaysian recipe for banana heart in coconut milk is pretty similar (I’m actually a bit surprised at how similar the recipes are!) – what I do is blend coconut milk, some bird’s eye chillies, about an inch of fresh turmeric and 3 – 5 shallots, then bung the whole thing in a saucepan with one bruised lemongrass and bits of salted fish or shrimp. Bring to boil, simmer with the banana heart until cooked. I use the same method for kangkong, spinach and young jackfruit as well. I like this recipe since there isn’t any added oil and using low-fat coconut milk (ugh) doesn’t affect the taste too much. Just don’t talk to me about the sodium content, haha.

  2. Marie says

    This is one of my favourite dishes! I haven’t tried cooking it yet, but, have a friendly, neighborhood turo-turo I used to go to whenever I start craving for this yummy dish.

  3. Doddie from Korea says

    Aaah Connie, I’ve always wondered how to cook this dish. Thank you for showing me how simple it is. Now if I can only get banana hearts here in Korea. :(

  4. rannie says

    i also love this dish. have you tried using sardines instead of pork or salted fish. masarap siya! pero kami we cut the puso ng saging…manipis.

  5. honey says

    we use the fat, red variety. What we do is, after slicing the banana heart, we put salt in it, let it sit for a few minutes and then squeeze it. after that, we wash it and it goes to the cooking

  6. says

    Hi Connie,

    Love your site.

    Your recipe sounds yummy. I love puso ng saging. I wonder if you have a recipe for kilawen na puso, which has, I think, lemon/citrus juice, onions?

  7. says

    uy uy salamat! Hubby accidentally bought a can of puso ng saging and a canned unripe jackfruit (o iba ba tawag dun sa ginugulay?)

    Been meaning to search for recipes haha Eto na pala yung para sa saging… any chance you know how to cook a dish for the jackfruit?

  8. says

    auee, re jackfruit, same procedure but jackfruit takes longer to cook.

    Re printable version. Sorry, forgot to include the tag when I changed templates. It’s back already. :)

  9. zai says

    hi juz wondering if cilantro is juz like a celery or what we called “kinchay”is that d same??dont know wat is cilantro!!

  10. says

    aha! hehe

    I can’t help it. Sometimes the software tester in me wants to say more about some sites I visit regarding their layout. etc but I just stick to the issue at hand haha

  11. says

    zai, cilantro is coriander leaves locally known as wansuy. kinchay is chinese celery.

    auee, thanks to your trained eye. i would have missed that tag for weeks. LOL

  12. says

    hi ms. connie!

    my father cooks d best guinataang puso ng saging (for me)! hehehe! he would always teach me how to cook it but it seems tedious coz he would squeez the puso around 3x before cooking it (d way u would do to get d gata from d coconut)… he uses dilis (fried until golden brown w/o oil) nothing more… yuuumm!!! :-)

  13. issay says

    being a bicolana, i remember that the sliced puso is crushed with a little salt, (before cooking) why, i dont know…never got to ask… i was just always waiting for it to be cooked.. :)

  14. Popcorn says

    Hi Connie! I cooked na din this food…Yummy….My 3 year old boy loved it….same as my husband….I cooked this twice na…Yummy and healthy!

  15. Abbey says

    I should have said “very intersting blog”. Anyway, hope to recieve your approval to use the photos. I’m a Hospitality Management student in Sydney and I want to present our Puso Ng Saging to my Oz classmates.

  16. says

    wow my favorite. sa mga bicolano po siling labuyo ang nilalagay ng tatay ko mas masarap. pag yan ang ulam ko nauubos ko yung isang bandehadong kanin hehe masarap sya talaga. thanks for this recipe.

  17. LEIGWAYNE says


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