The summertime has had me craving for Thai and Vietnamese flavours in my food. Perhaps because my body is craving the cooling properties that are in the lime and lemongrass that are often in these dishes. Banana heart is a versatile vegetable and is made up of mostly fibre, making it a somewhat light meal. Affordable and in season anytime there are bananas- always- banana hearts are used in Filipino, Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes. I added baked tofu which is a great texture to have with the chopped banana heart. I have seen recipes where the banana heart is left uncooked, but I personally find it harder to digest, so in this recipe, it was sautéed in a little salt and water. Another rendition of this dish is to add it to some vermicelli noodles to make it a heavier meal and in case you don’t feel like having rice. This satisfied my craving, and I hope it does the same for you!
- 1 banana heart, chopped
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 stalks of lemon grass, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 red onion
- 2 red chillies
- 200g peanuts plus a handful more
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp fish sauce or vegan fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 100g mint leaves
- 200g hard tofu ( tokwa)
In a heated pan, place the chopped banana heart with 2 tbsp of water. Simmer until tender.
In a mortar, use the pestle to combine the lemongrass, garlic, onions, chilli, juice of 2 limes, fish sauce, salt and sugar, peanuts.
Mash together until parts are smaller.
Add the water to the mixture and set aside.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper or silicone lining and place the diced tofu chunks. Bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes or until crispy.
In a bowl, combine the tofu, cooked banana heart and the dressing in the mortar. Add the mint leaves and remaining peanuts and toss.
Serve with noodles or rice on the side.