Thai Banana Boats – Farm to Table Recipe
Aloha from Big Island Farms! Before I get distracted by this incredible farm to table recipe that I get to share, I should introduce myself. Hi! My name is Jamie Shaw and I have the privilege of being an intern here in the farm to table program, where we get to make beautiful meals like the one seen above. Every day, the kitchen director (thanks kristy!), volunteer worker, and my fellow farm to table interns have the responsibility of making three meals a day to be enjoyed by everyone else on the farm. So while everyone else is hard at work in the field, I get to be creating works of art in the kitchen. Seems like a fair trade to me! I’m also here to provide you guys with some chosen recipes from our farm so maybe you’ll be inspired to eat a little more deliciously and sustainably.
But now, on to the food! What you see in that first photo is a green banana boat (more on that later) filled with fresh assorted fruits and veggies, coated in a thai inspired macadamia nut sauce. That may sound a little complicated but I promise it’s not! It takes almost zero cooking and minimal work- perfect for a meal when it’s just way to hot to use an oven (aka every day in Hawaii). The only thing that needs to be cooked is the green banana. If this part sounds a little weird to you, you’re not alone- I had never heard of using green bananas at all before this recipe! But, eating from farm to table means you have to take advantage of whatever produce happens to be available: we just happen to have a TON of bananas lately. Green bananas can be utilized as a type of starch in place of potatoes for example. In this recipe, we cooked them like you would a potato and boiled them until they were soft. You know they’re done when the green skin splits.
After your bananas are boiled, all the cooking parts are done- yay!
After those nanners are ready to go, all you have left to do is chop some fresh veggies and make the super amazing dressing that you’ll start wanting on everything. I crave it. The dressing is inspired by a Thai peanut sauce, but uses macadamia nuts instead of peanuts since we have an endless supply of them on the farm. They provide a really nice and mild nutty flavor to sauces! To make the dressing, all you do is throw the nuts in a blender along with some classic thai flavors such as soy sauce, honey, vinegar etc… the fun thing with sauces is they can be totally customized to how you’re feeling in the moment.
Feeling spicy? Add some chili peppers. Maybe you just really want sweets? Throw in some brown sugar!
Anything goes. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can toast the mac nuts to enhance the flavor.
As far as the produce goes, we just used the fruits and veggies that were available to us. Fortunately, all of the flavors worked really well together. Something non-negotiable in the mix is the green and ripe papaya. The green papaya (like the banana) is just an unripe papaya that we utilized at a different stage than usual. It’s an amazing addition to salad when you shred or chop it finely. We also used a ripe papaya which provides a pop of flavor and sweetness that really makes the salad. So go get (or grow) yourself some paps! The vegetables we used were some carrots, broccoli, peppers, and scallions for garnish.
Look at that colorful display! The next part is the most fun: mix all those colors together with the
dressing of dreams to make your beautiful fresh salad. Once all the flavors are incorporated and
happy, stuff all that goodness into your already cooked and cooled green bananas. The bright
flavors of the produce, nutty essence from the sauce, and starchiness of the bananas is a
combination you won’t soon forget!
Here’s our recipe!
Thai salad banana boats:
8 Green bananas
2 Ripe papayas
2 Green papayas
a large bunch of scallions
3 cups carrots
3 cups bell peppers
3 cups finely chopped broccoli
Macadamia Nut Dressing:
½ cup blended Macadamia nuts (toasted or not)
1/3 cup Soy sauce
3 garlic cloves (roasted or not)
Apple cider vinegar as needed
6 Tbsp. honey
small pinch of chili peppers
Olive oil (or sesame oil) as needed
1. Put a large pot of water on high heat to boil. Once the water is boiling, put all the green
bananas in whole for 2-3 hours or until the peel is split.
2. As the bananas are cooking, make the dressing. Put all the dressing ingredients in a
blender or food processor and mix until completely combined. Save some macadamia
nuts for garnish if desired. Taste, and add more seasonings or oil as needed. Set aside.
3. Gather all your produce needed for the salad. Chop the carrots and peppers into
matchsticks, dice the broccoli finely (or run it through a blender), dice the ripe papaya
into cubes, and then shred the green papaya in a grater. Roughly dice your scallions and
save for a garnish.
4. Combine all salad ingredients in a large serving bowl and toss with the dressing.
5. Once the green bananas are cooked, take out of the pot and discard the cooking water.
Cut open the top of each banana and fill with a large scoop of your Thai salad. Garnish
with your scallions, macadamia nuts or a little drizzle of that sauce. Then, grab a fork and
If you make this recipe for yourself we’d love to see it!
Take a picture and tag @bigislandfarm on Instagram to share