Our banana plants have grown very well over the last season. Our family and friends even got a few plants from us! But no bananas…
The plants that have matured from the season before have grown so tall that they are way above the roof and we can’t really reach them to harvest the leaves which we use in our cooking. So we’ve decided to chop them down to make way for the new plants next season. We have done that a few times before but this time, we have planned to make use of the whole tree. We harvest the whole leaves for our cooking as usual. The leaves that are shredded, I’m going to use to line planters in the garden. And this time, we’ve discovered that the core of the banana trunk is edible!
So we’ve removed the layers of outer fibre which we are planning to make into banana rope/string. And here’s what we were left with.
You can see we’ve left the last outer layer as the core oxidises quickly as you can see of the dark coloured ends. They are actually of the colour of white radish. So we store it like that in the fridge and peel the last layer when we are ready to cook it.
What did I cook with it? We first tried it on its own in a light curry. That wasn’t very tasty as we discovered that it doesn’t have much taste on its own. The texture is much like a lotus root with fine fibres on the inside. The next time we cooked it, we added it to a pot of chicken curry and I found that delicious! We still have one more length of it which we are planning to stir fry with some chilli shrimp paste (sambal belachan) and squid; my mouth is watering already 🙂
Our recipes are experimental. If you want to learn from the experts, here’s a traditional recipe if you are adventurous enough! Or you can check with your Thai or Burmese friends.
I also thought to check if it is healthy for us. And it seems that it is full of goodness too! Check out this article on the medicinal properties of the banana plant and you can see the section on banana stem (trunk core) half way down the page.
If anyone is game to try this, please let me know so the next time I have a few too many tall banana plants, I’ll bring some along to the swap. Just beware, they stain easily!