Banana blossom salad with mint and papaya

I have eaten banana blossom before in Vietnam and had been looking for some to pick and cook with since we arrived in Panama. I was exited to find some growing by the road side on one of our little our road trips. Banana and plantain grows in abundance here. I’m not sure if the Panamanians eat banana blossom but it is widely eaten in Thailand and Vietnam.

The outer leaves needs to be pealed back until the white heart i revealed. It needs to be thinly sliced and put into water straight away. Once the heart oxidises it turns brown and this happens very quickly.


The banana blossom dish we tried in Vietnam was a different version of what I wanted to make. I wanted a sweet and salty version with lots of flavours. I fried the blossom quickly with a bit of matchsticked ginger in sesame oil and then mixed it in a dressing of soy, honey, lime, chilli, ginger and garlic and then the sliced papaya, pepper, coriander and mint. It was absolutely delicious! The banana blossom are slightly bitter which goes incredibly well with the sweet of the papaya and honey and the saltiness of the soya. I could eat this every day! You can mix in some cold noodles to make the salad go a little longer. Our next guests at the Mount Totuma cloud forest lodge will be having this for lunch!



  • banana blossom
  • pepper
  • papaya
  • coriander and mint
  • sesame oil
  • noodles if you wish to make it a bigger meal
  • for the dressing:
  • soy, honey, lime, chilli, ginger, sesame oil and garlic

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