Banana Blossom with Coconut and Chilli

Chad and Derek Sarno – the mastermind chefs behind Wicked Healthy and Tesco’s hugely popular Wicked Kitchen range – have launched The Wicked Healthy Cookbook, featuring mouth-watering recipes, including this one for Banana Blossom with Coconut and Chilli.

Chad introduces the recipe as follows:

About fifteen years ago, I lived for a stint in the Philippines while revamping the menu for the Farm at San Benito, a health resort in the Batangas region. One of the chefs was from Thailand and usually made the staff meal. I fell hard for this dish. She made it with fresh coconut cream from the Farm, which tastes sooooo much better than canned. Use it if you can find it. The Filipino dish is called ginataang puso ng saging, which literally means “banana hearts cooked in coconut cream”. Lime, cilantro, and chiles give this version a more Vietnamese spin. Either way, the banana hearts/blossoms are the star. They have a savory taste and chewy texture reminiscent of pulled pork. Look for fresh banana blossoms in an Asian market. Canned does not work well here.


Banana Blossom with Coconut and Chilli

  • Prep Time 10m
  • Cook Time 8m
  • Servings 2–4


  • 1 1 banana blossom (about 500 g)
  •  Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp julienned fresh ginger
  • 1 Thai chilli, thinly sliced + more to serve, optional
  • 1 tin (400 ml) coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  •  Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 3–4  cups cooked rice vermicelli noodles or rice
  • 1/4  English cucumber, cut lengthwise into 1/2-cm strips
  • 1 handful iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 handful chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 spring onions, minced
  •  Lime wedges, to serve


  • Rinse the banana blossom well and remove the leaves. Discard the tough outer leaves and small blossoms, retaining the tender inner leaves.
  • Stack about 5 leaves at a time and cut crosswise into long, thin strips. Fill a large bowl with water and add half the lemon juice, the sliced banana blossom, and 2 tablespoonfuls of the salt. Massage the leaves under the water for a few minutes. The water should become discoloured. Drain and refill the bowl with fresh water, the remaining lemon juice, and 2 tablespoonfuls of the salt. Massage for another few minutes. Drain the leaves and pat dry.
  • Warm the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, and banana blossom. Sauté until the blossom starts to colour and softens, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring to avoid burning the garlic.
  • Lower the heat to medium and stir in the coconut milk, tamari, and the remaining salt. Continue to stir until the coconut milk reduces slightly in volume. Remove from the heat and drizzle with the lime juice. Add more tamari, salt, and/or lime juice, to taste.
  • Divide the noodles between 2 to 4 bowls. Ladle over the coconut–banana blossom mixture and add the cucumber, lettuce, coriander, spring onions, and sliced chilli (if using). Serve with lime wedges for squeezing.

Adapted from The Wicked Healthy Cookbook