Banana Heart

Red on top, white on the bottom
Red on top, white on the bottom

I ate some banana heart when I was in Puerto Princesa here  a couple of weeks ago and I was craving for more of it. I bought two kinds and I only got to cook one before going on my most recent trip to Surigao del Sur (which is by far the second best tourist destination in the Philippines, first is Batanes).  I haven’t checked the fridge yet if my other banana heart has survived but I have the feeling that it’s either grown some friendly fungus or been cooked. 🙂

Little fingers
Little fingers

The one I cooked  is the red one. What’s the difference between the two? I asked my reliable resource (my mother, not google) and she said that the red one is the leftover once the saba banana has bloomed into fruit. The white one is the regular banana that has yet to fruit. So in essence, eating a banana heart is like killing a whole bunch of bananas. Also explains why the red one is much cheaper than the white one. 🙂

After slicing
After slicing
After cooking
After cooking

After peeling multitude of layers which ate Pines initially did for me, I had to peel more until the heart leaves got tight enough that it was difficult. All warn that there is a very tackly sap which stick all over. There are little fingers also in the heart as well, and you include it when it’s tender (which most appear to be, more on that later). This was quartered lengthwise and dipped in water with vinegar since it oxidizes immediately. But upon boiling it in salted water, it just turned an ugly black. I then added this to some chicken in coconut that I had going and it was good to go.

The little fingers, surprise! They apparently had something like long spines (akin to those found in squid) that’s hard and inedible. But the softer ones don’t have it! Eat with some salt or fish sauce, yum 🙂

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