BANANA BLOSSOM - JANTUNG PISANG ~ all about vegetables

how to pick vegetables...................

Eventhough I know vegetables almost all my life, but sometimes, I always confused and curious how should I pick best. In my little tips below, I hope that it will help you to get the freshnest and best vegetables for your meals of the day.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


banana blossoms

Banana blossoms or jantung pisang are the unopened male flowers of the banana plant - a purple-red inflorescence tinged with yellow at the base which hangs at the end of a clump of developing bananas. Tasting like artichokes, the hearts of these flowers, which have been stripped off their purple petals, are a popular salad ingredient in some Southeast Asia cuisines, especially in Vietnam and Indonesia. Fresh, canned and dried banana blossoms can often can be found in specialty stores outside Asia, particularly those stocking Vietnamese and Thai ingredients.
Choose a firm, large blossom with an even color and check that the outer petals are not wilted. To prepare the blossom for cooking, remove the coarse outer petals to reveal the creamy white heart. Quarter the heart lengthwise with an oiled stainless steel knife to avoid the sticky sap clinging to it. If not cooking immediately, soak in cold water or rub with lemon or lime juice to avoid discoloration. Simmer the cut heart i plenty of lightly salted water until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain, cool, then pull out and discard the hard fillaments inside each cluster of yellow stamens as they have an unpleasant texture.

Banana leaves are used to wrap food for steaming or grilling. The moisture and flavor of the banana leaf makes a difference to the texture and flavor of the food, but if you can't find fresh or frozen banana leaf, use aluminium foil.
Before using to wrap food, the leaves should be softened for easy folding, either by soaking in hot water for 5-10 minutes or briefly heating over a low flame.

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