Now, this title is quite a mouthful of Filipino words! This is simply spring rolls made from banana heart or bud or blossom. Puso (heart) ng (of) saging (banana) lumpia. The outer red coverings are called bracts and a banana heart consists of several layers of bracts and flowers. In Tagalog cooking, we usually cook this with coconut milk or sautéed with vegetables and vermicelli for a delicious laksa.
I spent the Holy Week at home, catching up on sleep and checking out leaking bathroom faucets. We had this delicious lumpia for Good Friday lunch paired with fried whole tilapia. The day before, we harvested some bananas from the garden. There were three puso ng saging but I only used one, while the two we gave to our neighbor.
I wanted to make it with coconut milk, but we were not able to buy grated coconuts to extract the milk. We did have some coconuts but I have to grate them myself, a task I don’t enjoy. So instead of making lumpia and one with coconut milk, I decided to make two versions lumpia. The first version, I sautéed with annatto/atchuete oil and fresh garlic was added in the end while the second one, fresh Thai basil were added.
Lumpiang Puso ng Saging with achuete
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp annatto seeds
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 puso ng saging
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
1. Heat oil in a pan then add the annatto seeds. The oil with turn bright yellow. This should take around a minute. Remove pan from fire and discard seeds. You will use this pan for sauteeing the rest of the ingredients.
2. Clean puso ng saging by removing the layers of red bracts flowers until you come into a pale yellow bract. Chop into quarters and sliced thinly. Place immediately in water to prevent discoloration.
3. Saute half of garlic and all of the onion. Add half of the puso ng saging and mix well. Make sure that everything is coated with the oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. And the peanuts and mix thoroughly.
4. Remove pan from fire and let the mixture cool. Add the rest of the fresh garlic.
5. Place one lumpia wrapper in a plate. Add 1 tbsp of the mixture in one end. Moisten the sides of the lumpia wrapper with water. Fold the sides towards the filling then roll the wrapper. Fry till golden brown.
For the second version, saute the puso ng saging in garlic and onion. Season with salt and pepper and when cooked, add 3-5 pieces of chopped Thai basil leaves. Cool down then wrap in lumpia wrapper. Deep fry. I used the same pan so the dish was a bit yellowish.
Cucumber-Peanut dipping sauce for lumpia
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp chopped cucumber, unpeeled
1 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
chilis, according to taste
Mix the first three ingredients. Taste for balance of sourness, saltiness and sweetness (according to your taste). Add the chopped cucumber and peanuts. Add chili flakes or fresh chilis.
Note: The dipping sauce I got the idea from my favorite Thai resto in Los Banos. Hers is still better, though, but I’m getting there.