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Banana heart kerabu

Most of us know kerabu as bright, herby, and raw. This Nyonya favourite involves cooking many of the ingredients, resulting in a dish that’s almost like masak lemak. Serve it with rice, fried fish or tofu, plus more sambal belacan on the side for one of those combos you won’t be able to get enough of.

Recipe originally appears in Nonya Flavours; shared with permission by author Debbie Teoh.

 

Tableware by Ilham Ceramic Studio.

Banana heart kerabu

by Debbie Teoh

Most of us know kerabu as bright, herby, and raw. This Nyonya favourite involves cooking many of the ingredients, resulting in a dish that’s almost like masak lemak. Serve it with rice, fried fish or tofu, plus more sambal belacan on the side for one of those combos you won’t be able to get enough of.

Recipe originally appears in Nonya Flavours; shared with permission by author Debbie Teoh.

 

Tableware by Ilham Ceramic Studio.

Servings: 4

Servings: 4

2 banana flowers (preferably from pisang awak)

300g medium prawns, shelled

2 large onions, cut into 6 wedges each

100ml thick coconut milk (if fresh, extracted from ½ grated coconut)

5 tbsp calamansi lime juice

3 tbsp sambal belacan

 

SAMBAL BELACAN:

100g fresh red chillies, about 8

40g belacan, preferably toasted in a dry pan until slightly darkened and aromatic, about 1 tbsp

3 tbsp calamansi lime juice

SAMBAL BELACAN:

  1. Pound the chillies and belacan together in a mortar and pestle to the desired consistency. Stir in the lime juice and set aside.

 

TO PREPARE THE BANANA FLOWER:

  1. Peel off the outermost layers (around 4-5 layers) of the banana hearts and discard the rows of small buds in between. Half the banana hearts lengthwise.
  2. Cover with enough water in a pot and boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool.
  3. Slice across the grain into 1cm-thick slices, then into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.

 

KERABU & ASSEMBLY:

  1. Place the prawns, onion wedges, and coconut milk into a separate medium pot. Stir to combine, then boil over low heat to cook the prawns, about 5 minutes after it comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  2. Combine the lime juice and sambal belacan, then toss with the rest of the prepared ingredients.

Tips

  • Preparing banana hearts can be rather finicky, but well worth the fuss. Here are two guides that we find useful for further reading and viewing:
    1. A detailed visual explanation of banana heart anatomy and preparation method (in English) via Vegan Miam.
    2. A step-by-step video guide (in Malay).

Ingredients

2 banana flowers (preferably from pisang awak)

300g medium prawns, shelled

2 large onions, cut into 6 wedges each

100ml thick coconut milk (if fresh, extracted from ½ grated coconut)

5 tbsp calamansi lime juice

3 tbsp sambal belacan

 

SAMBAL BELACAN:

100g fresh red chillies, about 8

40g belacan, preferably toasted in a dry pan until slightly darkened and aromatic, about 1 tbsp

3 tbsp calamansi lime juice

Directions

SAMBAL BELACAN:

  1. Pound the chillies and belacan together in a mortar and pestle to the desired consistency. Stir in the lime juice and set aside.

 

TO PREPARE THE BANANA FLOWER:

  1. Peel off the outermost layers (around 4-5 layers) of the banana hearts and discard the rows of small buds in between. Half the banana hearts lengthwise.
  2. Cover with enough water in a pot and boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool.
  3. Slice across the grain into 1cm-thick slices, then into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.

 

KERABU & ASSEMBLY:

  1. Place the prawns, onion wedges, and coconut milk into a separate medium pot. Stir to combine, then boil over low heat to cook the prawns, about 5 minutes after it comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  2. Combine the lime juice and sambal belacan, then toss with the rest of the prepared ingredients.

Tips

  • Preparing banana hearts can be rather finicky, but well worth the fuss. Here are two guides that we find useful for further reading and viewing:
    1. A detailed visual explanation of banana heart anatomy and preparation method (in English) via Vegan Miam.
    2. A step-by-step video guide (in Malay).

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© Copyright Periuk 2021

© Copyright Periuk 2021

 
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