have you ever heard of banana blossoms? well, friends, if you haven't then today is a great day to learn about them because they are about to change the game for you! banana blossoms grow at the end of a banana fruit cluster and have a very fish-like texture and appearance. you can find these fruits mostly used in South-East Asian and Indian cooking. but don't fret, because you can locate a can of these closer to home than you think.
i am a huge fan of the local international & Asian grocers because of the wide range of items you come across from all over the world, also one of the few places i can purchase Puerto Rican items! thanks to these stores you can also get your hands on a can or two of banana blossoms at a very affordable price as well. when the pandemic started last year, one of my few outings was to grocery stores... because let's face it, food was all i had going on in my life. that's when i finally found cans of banana blossoms at my favorite Vietnamese grocer in town known as Viet Hoa in midtown Memphis.
now if you've been following me for a while you may know that i am a person with a lot of ideas that takes a while to get to them sometimes (thank you for your patience haha 😅), that's why you should know that this is the first time i've used these cans of banana blossoms since i purchased them last year! it's okay though because it was totally worth the wait. today i'll be teaching you how to cook up delicious fried banana blossom into what many call a vegan fish. let's get started!
Make Fried "Fish" out of Banana Blossoms
1-2 cans of banana blossoms
2 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp soy sauce or vegan fish sauce
3-4 large garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp old bay seasoning
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp dried herb seasoning
1/2 tbsp cajun seasoning *optional*
1 cup Panko crumbs in a separate bowl
1 cup unsweetened plant milk in a separate bowl
Oil for frying
In a container with a lid, combine marinade ingredients and carefully place banana blossoms in. Cover and let marinate for a minimum of 1-hour, preferably overnight. Remove marinade once ready to use banana blossoms.
In 3 separate bowls prepare a dredging station as follows:
Heat frying oil in a pan on medium-high heat. While oil is heating up you can prepare the vegan fish. Dip your banana blossoms in the flour mixture, plant milk, and panko crumbs. Once the oil is heated through you can fry battered banana blossoms for about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Transfer the fried banana blossoms onto paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve immediately and pair with your favorite dipping sauce and sides.
these are rough estimates for the measurements for seasonings, please feel free to use more or less OR add in anything extra you would like to use to give your vegan fish the best flavor.
if you have any pieces in the cans of banana blossoms that are too tiny to be a "vegan fish", you can still flour and fry them up as a side dish or utilize them in other recipes like vegan ceviche.
for my dipping sauce, i combined veganaise, chopped up Persian cucumbers, hot sauce, lemon, and a pinch of salt and pepper – it was a very refreshing and delicious sauce to pair with my dish.
many people like to use nori flakes (or seaweed sheets) in their vegan fish recipes to give it a more authentic fishy taste, feel free to add some in if you'd prefer.