Banana flower Parmigiana - Thailand

Andres - Salse dal sudest asiatico

  • Difficoltà


  • Stagionatura

    24 months

  • 4 banana flowers
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 mozzarella cheese
  • 20 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • For the sauce:
  • 500 ml tomato sauce
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 5-6 shrimps already shelled
  • 2 whole chillies
  • 1/4 chopped ginger root
  • parsley to taste
  • palm oil
  • salt
  • To fry:
  • 3 eggs
  • a little milk
  • flour
  • palm oil

Sauté the garlic, chilli and ginger in the palm oil, then add the shrimp, tomato sauce and salt. Cook for about 20 minutes. Towards the end, add the parsley. Clean the flowers by removing the first outer petals (5-6) and set aside to use them as the final container. Carry on cleaning so you're left with the flowers (yellow and elongated), cut them in half and remove the inner part (transparent). Slice the flower into halves crosswise into fettuccine sized strips. Soak the flower slices in a bowl of water and lemon to prevent them from browning. Rinse quickly and pat the banana flower slices with a paper towel. Dip into beaten eggs and then in flour. Heat the palm oil in a wok and fry the slices until they are golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a baking dish and align the first layer of fried banana flower. Season with some more sauce;  sprinkle the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and sliced mozzarella.  Continue until all the ingredients are used up, just like a classic Parmigiana. Finish with a layer of sauce and a sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano and bake until brown. Let it cool and cut into six 1.5 cm thick slices. Bake in the oven at 200°C for about 30 minutes, take out of the oven and mix gently to combine the ingredients. In a serving dish, arrange the outer leaves of the banana, well washed, to look like a flower and fill with warm Parmigiana. You can accompany the dish with grilled fish, steamed white rice or bean sprouts rolls.


The Banana plant became widespread throughout  South East Asia in prehistoric times.  Banana is mentioned for the first time in the history of Buddhist texts written in 600 BC. Alexander the Great discovered the taste of banana in the valleys of India in 327 BC.  The flower of the banana, with its intense purple-red colour, is used as a vegetable in many countries, from Sri Lanka to the entire of South East Asia.  In Thailand, the tender slices of banana flower are eaten raw dipped in a hot sauce known as nam prik, or with fried noodles, or simmered in a hot and spicy soup with chicken, galangal and coconut milk, and it is from these dishes that I got the idea to combine them with our classic Parmigiano.  But what does this flower taste like? Its flavour, at least in my opinion, besides being very pleasant is very similar to that of the artichoke, though not as strong, and this is why I came up with the idea for this Parmigiana.
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