Thai banana blossom_edible

Thai Banana Blossom: what is it, how to eat and menus

Many people have tried Pad Thai at least once, but have you tried Pad Thai with a raw Thai banana blossom? In Thailand, many eateries or restaurants often serve banana blossoms on the side in Pad Thai dishes! We have talked about how Thais can make use of the various parts of bananas in the previous article. Here, we will dig deeper into the banana blossom, one part of a banana tree that is less well known and not commonly used!

Table of Contents

What is banana blossom?

Banana tree_featured

You can notice a banana blossom when you look at its large, purple colored organic body which begs the question “what is a banana blossom?” or “is banana blossom edible?”. First of all, banana blossom is an edible flower of the banana tree. The “flower” grows at the tip of any banana clusters. Essentially part of the banana blossom will turn into banana fruits in the future. Banana blossoms can be cut off as the banana cluster develops. In fact, many farmers cut off banana blossoms to reduce the weight on banana branches/trees as well as to ensure that nutrition goes to the banana cluster itself!

How to cook banana blossom?

Thai banana blossom_how to cook

Before we jump into the question of “how to cook a banana blossom”, we need to first identify the edible part of a banana blossom. Thais can make full use of a Thai banana blossom as every part is edible! However, people usually use the young part which is white in color and it is hidden away under those red/purple-ish skin.

Banana blossoms do not taste like bananas (no sweetness there). The blossoms have a neutral taste and a very fibrous texture. You can eat the young part of the banana blossoms raw (like with Pad Thai), fried, boiled or steamed. Thai people often incorporate banana blossoms in many Thai dishes which we will cover more in the next section.

Lastly, we should also note that banana blossoms have nutritional and herbal benefits as well! According to the material from University of Phayao in Thailand, 100g of banana blossom contains 0.8g of fiber, 28 milligram of calcium, 40 milligram of phosphorus and 25 milligram of vitamin C. 

Banana blossoms menu

As we have mentioned previously, Thais often use raw banana blossoms as a side to accompany Pad Thai. However, Thais also make their spicy salads with raw banana blossoms as well (video with English subtitle here).

Thai banana blossom_pad thai

With simple boiling / steaming, you can enjoy Thai banana blossoms with Thai chili paste or Nam Prik as well. You can find fried or boiled banana blossoms in many Thai dishes, examples include Thai curry and spicy fried fish patty.

Should you try banana blossoms?

At first glance, banana blossoms may look strange or not edible. However, the whole banana blossoms are actually edible and they are full of fiber and nutrition.

You can enjoy Thai banana blossom raw, cooked or incorporated into dishes like Pad Thai, salads or even curry dishes.

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