I have three banana plants with flowers this year, so I know that I will be eating banana flowers at least three times! Such a satisfaction! How to prepare a banana blossom for eating? First you need to remove the pink/mauve petals (and small banana florets under each petal) from the blossom until you get to the pale centre. Keep the petals though, they are good as containers or decorations. You can find the step by step photos on how to peel and cut a banana blossom here. Then cut the centre and mix immediately with lemon juice. Put into a bowl and add more lemon juice and a couple of tbsp of Japanese soy sauce. Put another bowl on top (inside the first one to press down the content) and fill the second bowl with something heavy (a rock, for example). Keep the cut blossom pressed in this marinade overnight, in the fridge. This is necessary or the banana blossom will taste too astringent.
The day after, cook the noodles and drain. Rinse under cold water, and place into a bowl. Cut the tofu into squares and fry in a mixture of sesame oil and vegetable oil until golden, then add a tbsp of lemon juice and 2 tbsp of Japanese soy sauce, sizzle quickly and toss with the noodles. Squeeze the banana blossom from excess liquid and add to the noodles. Mix well and serve at room temperature, decorated with some Thai mint or coriander. This noodle salad was delicious and I will make it again, in fact so far this has been my favourite recipe with banana blossoms.
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©