Toni of Wifely Steps posted about Lasang Pinoy 18: Oh My Gulay! a few days ago. The cute button above, which embodies perfectly the Pinoy expression for shock (instead of “Oh my golly!” we say “Oh my gulay!”), caught me. Besides, I’m not very vege-phobic. So I thought I’d write an entry for LP 18. Here is a banana blossom recipe – Ginataang Puso ng Saging sa Sotanghon (Banana Blossom with coconut milk in glass noodles).
I said I’m not vege-phobic, but let me qualify that. I eat vegetables. But I abhor (yes, that’s a quite strong word!) the slimy ones – okra and saluyot (jute; not the weed!). I would rather eat (ulk…) ampalaya (bitter gourd) than swallow anything slimy. So, no, I’m not going to write about my abhorred vegetables.
I’m going to share, instead, a simplistic recipe of banana blossoms or banana heart (puso ng saging). The crucial point is in preparing the banana blossoms. If you get it right, the blossoms will be so disguised your vege-phobic kids/husbands won’t even know until it’s too late! *insert evil laugh here*
I will call this banana blossom recipe Ginataang Puso ng Saging sa Sotanghon.
1 medium-sized banana heart
500 grams sotanghon (mung bean glass noodles)
100 grams pork belly, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup thick coconut cream (or 1 50-gram pack of instant gata, mixed according to instructions)
2 cups water or broth (chicken or fish), approx.
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
chopped onion leeks for garnish
chili pepper (siling labuyo), optional
1. Prepare banana blossom / banana heart:
Remove and discard outer layers until you come to the tender parts (light colored, see photo above). Discard the tough stalk at the base. Slice what remains into thin pieces. Sprinkle with salt (about 1/2 tbsp for each cup of blossoms) and squeeze out the juices. Rinse and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Saute* garlic, onions, and pork. Cook over medium heat until pork is golden brown. Keep stirring around.
3. Add banana heart and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Stir in the coconut milk and broth. Season with salt, pepper, and patis. When mixture comes to a boil, add the noodles. Cover and cook over medium heat until noodles absorb the liquid. Stir occasionally so noodles won’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Garnish with chopped onion leeks when served.
*If you want a little zing, saute a chili pepper or two along with the garlic and onions.