Ginataang Puso ng Saging is a Filipino dish made of banana heart cooked in thick coconut milk. Puso ng Saging or the Banana Heart ( banana blossom or flower) has several ways to cook. In the Philippines, it is served as salad dressed in coconut milk, added to dinuguan, torta, lumpia, just to name a few. I even found a few recipes online with banana heart as the main vegetable. Banana heart is actually a flower but it is considered and more widely known as a vegetable in Southeast Asian cuisine. I added a twist to my version of Ginataang Puso ng Saging and it turned out to be more appetizing. Instead of the usual salt, soy sauce or fish sauce to flavor it, I used bagoong alamang (shrimp paste). Note that in this recipe, pork and shrimp paste are optional. Banana blossom cooked in thick coconut milk already has a rich, distinct taste on its own.
1 medium sized banana heart
2 cups thick coconut milk
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red bell pepper (or chili pepper), minced
250 grams pork, diced (optional)
2 tablespoons bagoong alamang (shrimp paste, optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Note: You may not need to season with salt if you opt to add shrimp paste
Preparation and Procedure
1. Peel off or remove the dark purple outer layer of the banana heart until you get to the lighter and tender part.
2. Cut the stem part and slice thinly. Or cut in half and chop.
3. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 10-15 minutes until liquid comes out.
4. Add water to make it easier to squeeze off the sticky sap. Rinse and drain.
5. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
6. Add onions and garlic until slightly browned.
7. Add the pork and stir in the shrimp paste. (This part is optional)
8. Add the coconut heart, stirring occasionally to break the lumps. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
9. Add the coconut milk and bell peppers, season with salt and pepper to taste.
10. Cover and lower heat. Cook until banana heart and pork are tender and coconut milk sauce thickens.
Served as main entree or side dish. This is best served with steamed rice!
Good for 2-3 servings. Enjoy!