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Topic: Solomon Islands Banana Flower  (Read 2194 times)
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« on: January 02, 2013 08:22:34 AM »

This isn't a recipe, but more of a tutorial with photos.

This tasty dish was prepared for our newest tradition - New Year's Day Feast, which is customary in the Solomon Islands.

First, look for tight flowers with outer leaves that are as fresh as possible. The tips might be brown and dried out but don't worry about that. Just make sure the leaves don't feel dried out. These are available in Asian markets.

Peel off those outer leaves and discard them. Inside you'll find miniature bananas. I wouldn't recommend tasting one as they are very bitter. Remove these and set aside. Continue peeling the leaves off until they are very light pink and very soft. Keep the mini bananas as you will add them to your dish. Chop them up to the same size as the rest of the flower.

Beginning at the end, chop the flower and turn. When you get to the stem end you may need to discard it if it is woody. You'll know.

This is the key to not having a horrible chalky, bitter, starchy taste - soak in very salty water for at least an hour. You can soak longer, or overnight even, but make sure you do not skip this step! After it has soaked, drain the salt water and rinse well. Squeeze the fresh water out until to see how much starch you are removing. The water you squeeze out should be clear, or almost clear. If it is very white, keep rinsing. When well rinsed, add very hot water and cook until boiling. It doesn't take long to cook, maybe 15 minutes. Just check it until it's tender. I'd imagine the smaller you cut it, the quicker it will cook. After it's done, drain the water. Add coconut milk. Then add curry, chili powder, and 1 diced onion. How much curry or chili powder? As much as it needs Smiley I think we used about a teaspoon of chili powder and a tablespoon of curry for the 6 flowers we cooked. I think. I was called away when my friend added this but that's about what it looked like. Oh! And don't forget some more salt. Just add these things to taste I guess. Cook a little longer over medium heat, maybe 15-30 minutes.

It's a little brownish and I'll admit that it doesn't look particularly appetizing especially when compared to the lovely purple flower you started with. However, I've read that putting the flower in lemon juice immediately after cutting will help deter this oxidation brown. Whatever. It tasted awesome so I could get past the look. It's very tasty with rice and fish.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013 08:26:25 AM by llisaredd » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013 08:33:01 AM »

How wonderful to experience foods from other parts of the world!  Learning how to make the dish firsthand is also great!

I will have to check our Asian market to see if I can find these...I like trying new foods!

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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013 10:16:25 AM »

This looks so interesting!  I wish I could get a taste.  Smiley  Thank you for sharing the whole process.

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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013 10:29:26 AM »

We need the internet to be able to taste and smell things... Cheesy

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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2013 12:14:04 AM »

Would love to try it out. Love tasting food from different cultures!

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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013 06:49:16 PM »

I'll try this next time I've got six banana trees all blooming at once.  I harvested two bunches of bananas and one of plantains today.  My kitchen is all yellow now!

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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013 01:20:20 PM »

wow, my local indian market sometimes has these and I wondered what they were!! (label is in hindhi, didn't know the owner as well as I do now and didn't want to seem like a stupid white girl lol).

thanks so much for this, I hAVE to try it!!!
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