Our neighbor gifted me a banana blossom from his banana plant. So what is a banana blossom, you might ask? I have to admit that, before moving to San Diego, I had no idea what a banana blossom is nor that it is edible. It is the purple-skinned, tear-shaped flower that grows at the end of a cluster of bananas. These blossoms are used a lot in Asian cooking, and they also can be eaten raw. The chunky, flaky texture makes it an ideal substitute for fish in vegan cooking. I love using banana blossom in my vegan “crab” cake.
There actually are health benefits of banana blossoms — it’s an alkaline food high in dietary fiber and other vital nutrients. If you can’t find fresh banana blossoms, you can find canned ones.
First things first: banana blossoms need to be cleaned before they can be cooked. Here is a tutorial on how to do that:
Banana Blossom “crab” cake
- 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1 tsp vegan Worcester sauce
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp minced capers
- 2 tsp minced shallots
- 1 tsp minded fresh dill
- 2 tsp minced red bell pepper
“Crab” Cake Ingredients:
- 2 tsp nori flakes
- 14 ounces fresh or canned banana blossoms
- ½ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- 1/2 cup canola oil, more if needed
- 3 Tbsp vegan mayo
- 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- Prepare Rémoulade:
- Place all rémoulade ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend on high for 1 minute.
- Set aside or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Prepare Crab Cakes:
- If using canned blossoms, drain them. Place in a food processor, pulse gently until they look like the consistency of crabmeat.
- Place a small sauté pan on medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. Sauté the onion until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the blossoms, onion, mayo, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, nori flakes, nutritional yeast flakes, cornstarch, and salt and pepper. Mix until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Scoop with an ice cream scoop or a large spoon to portion into small cakes. Combine breadcrumbs with 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning. Coat the small cakes with breadcrumbs. Let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until firm.
Cook Crab Cakes:
- Place a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add some canola oil and heat for 2 minutes.
- Working in batches, sauté the cakes (make certain that the oil comes about
halfway up the sides of the cakes) until browned on both sides and heated through, 2 to 3
minutes on each side.