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Thai Cuisine Ingredients: Banana Flowers

Posted in: Chef's Blog

Thanin_market_banana_flowers_and_leaves

Banana flowers (or blossoms) are used as a vegetable in South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine, either raw or steamed with dips or cooked in soups, curries and fried foods.The flavor resembles that of an artichoke. Not at all like any flower or any other vegetable I’ve had, but more like a mushroom – in its meatiness and a certain umami quality (that elusive fifth flavor), though with a lighter texture and flavor. It was difficult for me at first to detect a banana aroma…

Banana_flower_from_kerala

As with artichokes, both the fleshy part of the bracts and the heart are edible.

In many Thai restaurants fresh banana blossom is traditionally served with Phad Thai, while hot banana blossom salad is a very, very popular dish in their cuisine.

– Miroslav Stycinskij, Head Chef

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