Banana Flower

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

banana flower also called banana heart, the inflorescence of the banana, is used in many Asian cuisines. The ‘flower’ (technically, the male part of the flower) is sheathed in outer reddish petals. When these are removed, the paler inside, which is what is eaten, is first debittered by boiling in a change of water, and then used or further cooked in various ways. The flowers may be sliced and used in salads. Or they may be cooked in curry-type dishes with the immature green fruits (i.e. half-formed bananas), as in Malaysia. In Indonesia they are often served as a hot vegetable, e.g. sliced and simmered in coconut milk.