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Heiko Grabolle

You know, I live in Brazil and we also have banana trees here, but I didn´t know that you can eat the middle of the trees. Very nice, I´ve got to try.

Thank´s a lot,
cheers, Heiko Grabolle.


Heiko - interesting. I'm not sure if the stem of all varieties of banana are edible. For what it's worth most bananas here in Asia are smaller and stubbier than the type found in North America - not sure what sort of bananas you've got there in Brazil.


Fantastic post... When I grew up we had banana trees in our backyard and our helper would cover the chopped trunk with the leaves overnight. The next morning she will collect the water that accumulated in the indentation of the trunk for her hair "tonic". Of course, I didn't pay attention whether this home remedy works. But I thought I'd share this story with you.


Hi Tuty - Fascinating! Thanks for sharing that story. I've read that banana stem, in addition to being full of fiber, is supposed to be quite healthy -- and that juice is sometimes made of it in India.

My Taste Heaven

Oh, did not know that we could cook a dish with banana stems. Thank you for the informative post.


In Iloilo we cook ubod (the white inner trunk of the banana) with chicken and kadyos (a type of beans, usually black). No coconut milk.

Not all types of banana trees can have the inner trunk cooked this way. Only the saba type (Philippine plantains) will do. Not the lacatan, neither the latundan.


another great read.
you make eating very educational, and we can't take everything for granted.
i keep coming back to your blog to learn something new. in central vietnam the blossom is also eaten with bun bo hue, the tartines is added to this fatty, spicy beef soup.

Kelantan Gal

Your post brings back some childhood memories about banana stem art projects. Dip the ends of the stem in paint and stamp it on paper. They make lovely patterns. :)

Marcos Calo  Medina

What a surprise! I was wondering what had happened to our Butuan Banana Adventure. I can't believe we chopped all those trees just for that little pot. I've tried chicken with coconut milk, but no hearts of banana trunk (or whatever you call it). Not quite the same. Wonder what in the trunks makes it different?


Robyn, did you have "jukut ares" while you were in Bali? ("Ares" is the Balinese word for young banana stem.)


Hi Ed - we've had it a few times on Bali, most in soups ... one with young starfruit leaves and one, I think, with beans (black-eyed peas?). How have you eaten it?


My mum makes Burmese Laksa with banana stems!


In Cambodia, they use a lot of banana flower -- my favorite is grated raw on the bottom of a bowl of Noam Ban Chop, Cambodian noodles. Yum.



Hi Robyn,
In India, especially south and east where Banana grows in abundance, every part of the plant is used, but in a fashion never harmful for the plant.
The fruit - consumption mentioned by you, the dried leaves are turned into environment friendly as well as healthy cups and plates( vendor stalls can serve food in them with no fear of contamination, like in paper plates)the green leaves are used to make sweet and savoury crepes, dumplings, as well as a lining in steamers, the outer bark is used to create strings as well as clothes( yes banana bark fibre clothes are ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS - lustre of silk, comfort of cotton, elegance of linen) and the stem is used as a vegetable - it is made raw into salads, as well as cooked into gravy vegetables - shred stem fine, steam, grind lashings of coconut, green chillies, a few tbsp of yoghurt, boil for a few minutes, temper with coconut oil, mustard and some urad Dhal and you eat it with Rice and Ghee, YUM!, as well as steamed dry vegetable - steam, add a sprinkling of salt and sugar, a few dustings of dessicated coconut, temper with green chilly & Mustard and voila, you have a fabulous veggie to eat with rice / roti whatever. The stem is used to cure gall bladder stones - eat the stem as a raw salad every day - chop as you mentioned, grate / cut into juliennes, soak in water mixed with lemon / yoghurt( I tsp mixed in water). this step is basically to retain the colour. drain, add salt, lemon Juice, a couple of pinches of sugar or better still palm sugar / jaggery, temper with mustard, curry leaves and chilly and you have a great salad that is a sure fire cure for gall stones.... more effective is just the juice - no headaches of cutting, slicing etc. Just cut it up into juicer sized chunks pass through the juicer and drink a glass neat. Gall stones will vanish in a month!
Now, coming to waht kind of 'banana's" have stems.
there are two kinds of banana plants - those that fruit & those that do not fruit( grown for leaves only - which is used to serve food in India)
All fruiting bananas, post fruiting - i.e, after the fruit has been harvested, can be cut for the stem. This does not harm the plant, as anyways, after fruiting once, the mother plant gives off baby offshoots ( through the roots) and dies!
All banana stem adn leaves are harvested and used at that stage. hence, it is a totally plant and environmental friendly way of doing things.
BTW, in India, we rarely cook meat adn vegetables together( unless it is tribal societies)
Hence, you will find "Pure vegetarian food" as accompanyment to rice / dals / rotis and meat dishes!
Sorry if this post is long... just so much info to share! Hope this was useful! :)

bladder control

Yeah, banana stems in South East Asia are edible. They can serve as great garnish to cooked foods.



That was a nice post.I am from South India(Palakkad, Kerala).We make use of almost all parts of banana tree.The central part(we call"vazhappindi" in Malayalam)is used making many dishes and this is the first time I see used with Chicken. The water we get after crushing the central part(vazhappindi) is used as a natural medicine for fever..


Banana pseudostem can be eaten? Save or not? Is there any toxic chemical like lead, cadmium....accumulated in banana pseudostem?

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