Puso ng Saging / Banana Bud or Blossom

Puso ng saging literally translated is “heart of banana.” puso1 Most English source books however, refer to this common “vegetable” as Banana bud, flower or blossom… I have no idea why the cooked puso is considered a vegetable while the fruit of the same tree is a fruit… I suppose if you ate a salad of apple leaves that would be a vegetable too… At any rate, puso is the brilliantly maroon or red end of a bunch of bananas. It is extremely common because banana trees (a large herb, actually) grow by the gajillions in the Philippine countryside…

Most folks carefully wash and prepare the puso puso2by slicing the inner section (throwing out the tougher outer leaves and odd flowers or limp fingers) and stewing it in coconut milk with perhaps onions, garlic, chillis and salt and pepper. I can usually eat a few spoonfuls of puso with coconut milk but it isn’t exactly my favorite vegetable dish. Some like to think of it as the poor man’s version of artichokes but I don’t think it has the same flavor, just the funny hard-leafy texture, that softens as it is stewed. If any of you have any interesting ways to prepare this readily available vegetable(?), please leave a comment below…


61 Responses

  1. I dont remember quite well, but that was the ONLY time I tasted puso (dont they also refer rice as puso in cebu?) ng saging. It was in a salad with pepper and vinegar-based dressing.

  2. Kinilaw na puso ng saging is just guisado with pork and shrimps. Let it stew until the pork fat renders. Then add vinegar and lots of black pepper towards the end. I like it this way better than most ways of cooking it.

  3. Puso ng saging will taste like artichoke, only if what you use is the canned puso. Try preparing Glenda Barretto’s Ensaladang Puso ng Saging, from Flavors of the Philippines. One of the comments I got when I served this was that it tasted just like pickled artichokes.

  4. Go to iluko.com, they have recipe for burger made out of banana blossom.

    A week ago I cooked banana blossom by cutting it into thin slices, boiled it. I put beaten eggs, flour, salt and perpper. And mixed it together. Fry it.

  5. if you stand underneath a banana tree, with your mouth hanging open for a shot of puso ng saging sap during a full moon, you might gain some mystical powers. correct me if i’m wrong. is this another pinoy myth?

  6. pete, that comment is too amusing to ignore for long. No, I haven’t heard that one before. But perhaps I should have tried it the other night when the moon was full… noemi, the fried version sounds good. Seaweed, you are right, a pickled version would be similar but the fresh version different I guess… Shoppaholique, the salad version sounds nice but I have yet to try it and yes, they do call rice wrapped in banana leaves puso in the Visayas (I have an earlier post on this, check the archives), jay seems Mita has given you a recipe for kinilaw na puso!

  7. I heard it is a stone which drops from the puso at midnight, careful, though, you might turn into Darna. In Pangasinan we peel off the “leafy” parts and “harvest” the little banana fingers, which are the ones we cook as “vegetable,” usually in a fish sinigang, which turns opague from the sap.

  8. the one in photo is the variety that is used for kinilaw or with coconut milk. The puso ng saging from saging na saba is the one being used with Kare-kare. It looks like long white / yellowish elongated puso ng saging. Try it and it’s good.

    more power MM!

  9. maybe you could also use puso ng saging as an alternative to dishes that call for sliced bamboo shoots?

    mm, how about banana blossoms? any recipe for them other than putting them as extenders/extra ingredient for adobo?

  10. Bubut, cool… I didn’t know the long beigy enlongated puso is from saba…see, you learn something every day…thanks for that. acidboy, I hear dried banana blossoms are sometimes put in sweet and sour soup in lieu of a more expensive ingredient but I haven’t made anything with banana flowers…maybe other readers have ideas?

  11. My mom makes kilawin na puso ng saging with vinegar, onions and liver spread; just simmer till the puso shreds are tender. For banana flowers, she uses them for paksiw na lechon or paksiw na pata =)

  12. What a coincidence you wrote about this, MM, because just the other night, my friend asked if there was any Filipino food I craved and considered comfort food (she knows Pinoy food is not one of my faves). One of the few dishes I mentioned is one that uses puso ng saging! I don’t cook, so I don’t know how it’s made, but there’s a dish I enjoy at my family’s house which has puso ng saging with gata, kalabasa, and shrimp. It’s really delicious, and quite comforting, too.

  13. i grew up surrounded with banana
    My family in Cebu make kinilaw out of this puso

    Thanks for the info btw greatly appreciated!

  14. Yeah Pete, that is common “belief” among Visayans in Mindanao!
    It is supposed to be an “anting-anting” which renders you invincible (ex. will not die when hit by a bullet, wanna try?) hehehehehe, CDO peole like to make kinilaw(with pinakurat vinegar) with the puso once they get the “anting-anting” though, so you see, busog na, invincible pa! And yes, it does taste like artichoke!

  15. pete, i remember a movie when i was small about a guy waiting for the sap to fall down and have the agimat – if i am not mistaken – it was a ramon revilla film of years back?!?! :)

    My lola used to cook the puso – kilawin style and she adds sotanghon too and really yummy…

  16. i remember another movie where ricky belmonte was a dwarf named rickytik. naturally, he was paired with rosemarie sonora, who tried that trick of standing below a puso in anticipation of special powers. i think the movie was entitled “juanita banana.”

    anyways, i have a question, how do you prepare puso ng saging so it won’t darken after slicing?

  17. cheche, prepare a salt and water solution in a bowl. after slicing the “puso” place the slices in the solution immediately. this would retard the “darkening”.

    I prepare my kinilaw by frying several slices of pork skin cut in 1-inch squares. Once done “ala chicharon” I remove it, let it rest skin side up in a plate with a paper towel.

    Using the same pan and oil used to make the “chicharon” I would sautee shrimps,garlic and onions, add the “puso” slicing (drain the salt and water solution and wash it a few time to remove excess salt), add salt and pepper and the vinegar. Cook for about 15 minutes.

    Before serving put the chicharon on top.

  18. cheche, some acidulated water might do the trick, just squeeze some lemon or kalamansi into a bowl of water and soak the sliced puso ng saging in the bowl until ready to use. The acid tends to retard the blackening in most cases…

  19. If you want to cook puso ng saging, the variety with the round tip is usually better than the ones you have in the picture. My mom, if she can help it, wouldn’t buy the pointy ones. They tend to have this kinda bitter taste. You can try puso ng saging with fish sinigang, it’s really good. Try to avoid the tough outer part though.

    There’s a variety of banana that is not really good for anything but bird food because the fruit is full of seeds, and I mean peppercorn-sized seeds; but the puso from this same tree/herb is really good.

  20. Puso ng saging in sinigang na bangus is good. It tastes better if yung “pinaghugasan ng bigas” (the water from the 2nd or 3rd washing) is used instead of plain water for the sabaw. And instead of sampalok para “pampaasim”, an alternative is santol.

    For the flowers (yung fresh, the ones that are left when the outer tougher leaves were removed), my Ilokano father would stew that with okra, talong, sitaw, saluyot and fish bagoong. (Can add also dried shrimps for more flavor.) This is a good partner for fried fish.

  21. I like Puso ng saging because it used in kilawi……….
    Masarap un……..matiman mo na b un????????

  22. Can you give me an information about the nutritional content of the banana blossom and what kind of diseases it can prevent if you eat it.. i need it for my feasibility studies.. Thanks..

  23. muzz, sorry, I don’t have any nutritional information on banana blossoms…I think you need to do more in depth research than I can assist with…

  24. puso ng saging is one of my favorite vegetable particularly if it is cooked as kare-kare in tagalog

  25. hi. is the kilawing puso ng saging the same as ensaladang puso ng saging with chicharon toppings?

  26. Hi All,

    Like Gregorio, would like also to know the vitamin content of Banana Bud. This has been one of my favorites as far as salads are concerned yet til now I dont have any info as to what nutrients does this stuff have. Pls let us know.

  27. I recently preserved banana heart in olive oil and it actually tasted like preserved artichokes, like the ones they serve at Italian Restaurants as antipasto.

    This is the following recipe, i hope it helps! :D

    Ingredients for a one litre jar

    1 kg (2.2 lb.) white inner section of the puso, discard the outer layer and the flowers
    500 ml (2 cups) extra virgin olive oil
    150 ml (generous half cup) dry white wine
    100 ml (6 tbsp.) white vinegar 10 g
    (2 tsp.) fine salt
    5 g (1/6 oz.) coriander
    Juice of half a lemon
    1 fresh bay leaf
    1 clove of garlic
    1 Espelette chili
    1 tsp. sugar


    1. Turn the banana heart using a small paring knife
    2. In a stainless-steel saucepan, bring the vinegar, salt, coriander, bay leaf, Espelette chili, crushed garlic, sugar and lemon juice to a boil over high heat.
    3. Place the puso in this marinade for 10 minutes.
    4. Drain, cool and pack into a sterilized jar.
    5. Fill with olive oil and seal tightly.
    6. Can be eaten as an hors-d’oeuvre, or with a mesclun salad.

    ENJOY! :D

  28. i have question:) if we eat banana bud does it has desame vitamins or nutrition like in banana fruit????:) need some ansewers for my PFS:)

  29. Hello,

    fried puso ng saging is the best i tried it and my caucasian friend was really delighted by the taste. I will try carissa’s recipe next time.

  30. in bicol,my mom will cook puso ng saging in kare kare along w/ petchay,long beans and eggplant.

  31. can anyone tell me the nutritional value of banana blossom/heart (not banana fruit). I just need it in my thesis. I couldn’t find anything over the net. thanks in advance.


  32. hello,,i am just curious if it is possible for a banana tree to have 10 hearts at one time…There was a particular tree at our place who have that case..Do science have any explanation at this or is it a miracle?thanks a lot

  33. my high school teacher defined a vegetable as a plant or a plant part that is eaten (as viand) with the staple food, so if you eat the banana blossom as “ulam” with rice, “puso ng saging” is considered a vegetable. the banana part that you pick from the “piling” and peel before eating, that is eaten as a fruit.

  34. Hi there, I cant find the Puso ng Saging burger in the iluko.com. I dont speak Ilocanot neither. Is possible to post a recipe? thanks

  35. Puso ng saging- or banana blossoms even are best in vegetarian karekare with pechay, kalabasa, sitaw, etc. Nothing beats peanut butter you make yourself- totally organic!!! And oh, ‘fake’ bagoong from soy- oh so good! I patterned my recipe from Bodhi’s karekare!

  36. I’m studying in Sydney and I was tasked to present an exotic fruit/vegetable in class. All your inputs are helpful. Thanks.

  37. ei,i want to share my recipe of puso ng saging.
    actually,naisip ko lang ito.my contest kasi sa school para sa masustansyang recipe kya ito ang niluto nmin.pls. give a comment about it.

    125 g all purpose flour
    500 g puso ng saging(finely choped)
    2 tbsp oil
    3-4 gloves of garlic(minced)
    200 g giniling
    12-14 spring onions
    3 eggs
    1 small can tomato sauce

    1. combine the flour,puso ng saging,giniling,eggs,and season to taste,
    2. make a ball(1 tbsp)then set aside.
    3. put some oil into a caserol an the balls(mixture of puso ng saging).
    4. when it is already golden brown, add the tomato sauce and let it simmer for 3-5 min.
    5.put in a plate and ready to eat..



  39. May I use your photod for my assigment?

    From what I have gathered, the banana blossom is a good source of Vitamin C and fibre. I learned from Kerala Kitchen Blog that is also a cure for menstrual pains and bleeding. It is good for lactating mothers and recommeded during pregnancy and after giving birth.

  40. i just wanna ask, what are the nutritional benefits we can get from eating puso ng saging? thanks :)

  41. Hi , In Malaysia this banana bud we called it ” Pisang Jantung ” .
    We ate as vegetables with lunch or dinner .

    How we eat this Banana Buds ?

    1) We wash it external skin with clean water .
    2) We cut it into half .
    3) We boiled water in the wok / pot
    4) We put the wood/ss steamer pots ontop of the boiling
    water .
    5) when the water boiling hot , put the slice banana buds
    on the steamer case and steam the banana buds for about
    5 – 10 minutes ,
    6) Take out from the steamer , on top of the cooked
    banana buds , put some blended chilis or lemon juice
    and eat it as veg-salad for your lunch or dinner .
    7) It is yummy veg .

    Rgds, Ong

  42. As far as the flowers, you can add it to paksiw na pata the sweet version (also called Humba).

  43. hello po..

    ask ko lang po..

    is it possible for banana “puso”

    be use in making embutido??

  44. can i ask for the medicinal use of this banana bud..i just think if i can use it in our thesis proposal??hope i can see it soon!

  45. Hello Marketman,

    What a great blog! I came upon it while searching for how to clean and prepare a banana heart. Thanks to those who shared their methods.

    BTW I gather there’s some kind of confusion between “banana blossom” and “banana heart”, seeing as they’re used interchangeably in some comments. If I’m not mistaken, what Filipinos often call “banana blossoms” (as used in some recipes for humba or adobo) are actually dried daylily flowers, called golden needles or yellow flowers in Chinese (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dry_Day_Lily.jpg), more usually found in Moo Shoo Pork.

    All the best and more power to your blog,




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