In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

A Tasty Caribbean Recipe Using Green Bananas.


 

This recipe is a combination of many things. It’s a take on a recipe my mom would make but instead of using canned salmon as I did, she would normally use pieces of salted cod. Then about a year ago I saw Levis Roots of “Reggae Reggae Sauce” sauce fame cook up a batch of this with the help of some kids… if you’re from the UK and watch the Dragon’s Den you’ll know who I mean. I think he also calls himself the “Dragon Slayer”! But he used fresh caught mackerel in his dish.

Knowing that I had green fig (bananas) in the fridge, I had a severe craving for this sort of “country” dish about 8 pm last night. With no salted fish in the fridge, nor mackerel… the wheels of creativity went spinning and I decided on using the canned salmon that peeked at me from behind the can of corned beef in the cupboard (Mr. Salmon learned not to play hide and seek with a grown man).ย  There’s no better motivation in the kitchen than a craving and hunger!

 

You’ll Need…

5-7 green bananas (known as green fig or cooking bananas in the Caribbean)
1/2 teaspoon salt (for boiling the green bananas)

1 medium tomato
1 medium onion
1 scallion (green onion / spring onion)
1 clove garlic
1/4 habanero pepper (scotch bonnet or any hot pepper you like)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil (any cooking oil you like)
1 sprig thyme (dash dried thyme)
Salt – optional (add as needed)
1 can pink salmon

Note: If you’re shopping for green bananas in North America, they will be called cooking bananas. If you can’t find them in your grocery store, do ask a clerk and don’t buy ordinary bananas that are not ripe yet. You’re looking for ones that are really firm, brilliant green in color and no blemishes. If you’re peeling these as I did before boiling, do wear gloves or coat your hands with cooking oil to prevent the sort of ‘milk’ to cause your hands to be sticky and possibly itch. Don’t get that ‘milk’ (sap) onto your clothes.

Since the green fig will require the most time to cook, go ahead and peel, scrape and rinse them. You can also cook them in the skin and peel after they’ve been boiled. In a deep pot put enough water to cover the bananas and bring to a boil. Then add the bananas and salt.. bring back to a rolling boil and allow to cook for about 20 minutes.

While this cooks, lets prepare the other ingredients. Wash and chop the tomato, scallion, habanero pepper, thyme.. don’t forget the garlic and onion as well.

With the bananas fully cooked, drain and allow to cool while we get things really started. In a large saucepan put the olive oil to heat on a medium heat, then add the onion, garlic and thyme. Let them cook on the medium/low heat for about 3-5 minutes. We’re trying to get the onion translucent and release the rich flavors of the garlic and thyme. Next add the green onion, pepper, tomato and black pepper. Let that cook for about 3 minutes.

The next step is to add the can of salmon, including the water it was packaged in and ketchup. Break it up into flaky chunks, give it a good stir and allow to come back up to a gentle simmer… cook for another couple minutes.

While this cooks, the bananas should be cool enough to touch. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and get ready to toss them into the pot.

The final step is to toss in the cut pieces of cooked bananas into the pot, give it a good stir and allow it to heat through with all the other ingredients in the pot (about -35 minutes) and you’re done.

Since the canned salmon is usually packaged with a ton of sodium I don’t feel the need to add any salt, but do taste ad add accordingly as I’m sure your tolerance for salt will be different than mine.

This is one of those versatile dishes that works for any time of the day (or night as in my case)… even breakfast. Growing up on the islands you know we love our BIG breakfast, so though you may find this a bit heavy to start the day.. a Caribbean man would appreciate this (hint ladies). BTW, there’s enough here for 3-4 people if you have some coconut bake or toast on the side or a complete meal for two people.

To make this dish fully vegetarian, you can omit the canned fish, but add a little butter when cooking the onion and garlic at the start.

Before you go I invite you to leave me your comments below.. even if it just to say hello. Itโ€™s always appreciated. And donโ€™t forget to join us on facebook and do check out the cooking videos.

Happy Cooking!

Chris…

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73 Comments

  1. Judith Niles
    May 29, 2020 / 8:50 pm

    There is Guyanese Store on Victoria Park North of Eglinton Ave E called Charloo’s. I get he best green bananas there. The baby ones oh so sweet

  2. Diana Moe
    March 19, 2019 / 5:21 pm

    I love this dish. I might do it for my sunday meal. I am tired with rice.

  3. amanda
    February 26, 2019 / 4:19 am

    this is a Jamaican dish!

    • admin
      February 26, 2019 / 5:07 pm

      cooked across the caribbean

  4. Amanda Roberts
    February 26, 2019 / 4:18 am

    this is a Jamaican dish! not Caribbean. we are Caribbean but this is our dish specifically

    • admin
      February 26, 2019 / 5:08 pm

      loud stupes.. what makes this distinctively Jamaican? hold on to your pride but don’t be making wholesale remarks like that

    • Arthur Block
      April 27, 2019 / 12:40 pm

      I ate this dish, as described, for years (45 years) in Puerto Rico, Tortola and Virgin Gorda. The Jamaican version usually used some coconut milk.

  5. Siomone Davis
    February 19, 2019 / 8:32 am

    I love green banana but i do not eat salmon, codfish or tuna . what can i substitute for pink salmon?

    • Arthur Block
      April 27, 2019 / 12:44 pm

      Use salt pork, cut in 1/2 inch strips and fried crisp! A neighbor used to use ham cut into pieces and lightly fried. A Japanese riend suggested I used diced fried tofu for a vegan version – I have yet to try that.

  6. Phylicia
    January 26, 2019 / 1:08 am

    Wow this looks great Iโ€™ll definitely try it but with salt fish

  7. kwoolf
    October 1, 2018 / 11:42 am

    Is this the same as a plantain?

  8. Melba
    July 30, 2018 / 9:51 am

    Will certainly try this but without the ketchup.

  9. Margaret Durham
    March 24, 2018 / 4:40 pm

    You can also cook the green fig/bananas curry with salt fish
    So yummy and eat with sada roti

  10. destiny
    July 16, 2017 / 4:23 pm

    I will be trying this without the salmon and only using 2 green bananas. i will write back with how it went!

  11. Jacquelyn Mickens
    December 3, 2016 / 1:42 pm

    OMG!!!! Looks delicious!!!! I’m definitely going to attempt to make!!!!

  12. Nadine
    July 30, 2016 / 4:43 pm

    Just made this! #perfect

  13. Donna Taylor
    December 30, 2015 / 12:05 am

    Merry Christmas Chris
    Have a Blessed Christmas
    And a Happy New Year!
    Thanks you for all your recipe in 2015

  14. Adanna Moore
    December 15, 2015 / 10:43 am

    I will be trying this. My mother in law gifted me with some green bananas and I can’t wait to cook them. May also do some dumpling.

  15. janet may
    April 28, 2015 / 9:08 am

    Look delicious and easy enuff for even me to make ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Grace Pryce
    January 13, 2015 / 4:21 pm

    p.s. to my earlier comment – I will definitely try this recipe.

  17. Grace Pryce
    January 13, 2015 / 4:19 pm

    Final step says toss in bananas and heat through -35 min. Should this be 3-5 min or 35 min? Thanks

    • admin
      January 14, 2015 / 12:26 am

      sorry should be 3-5 minutes

  18. Andrew T
    November 26, 2014 / 10:39 am

    I’m confused about your “cooking bananas”. I have never heard of them before. Do you mean plantains? What you have pictures look like regular unripe bananas. Google isn’t providing any satisfactory answers for me. Please post a link to information on cooking bananas if this is a distinct species of banana separate from regular bananas and plaintains.

    You also mention green figs. According to http://goo.gl/xwRJ9V, a green fig is simply the term Trinis use to describe a regular unripe banana. So are talking about the same thing?

    Looking forward to your reply.

    • admin
      November 26, 2014 / 12:51 pm

      Andrew – (not sure where you’re located, but you can find cooking bananas in most Canadian grocery stores) cooking bananas are indeed unripe (regular) bananas.. but they are not as mature (mature bananas ripe faster). If you cannot source cooking bananas, green bananas will work. Yes, “fig” is what we call bananas in all of the Southern Caribbean. Did this answer your concern?

  19. Salmon
    August 18, 2014 / 8:25 pm

    What size can salmon did you use for the salmon and green cooking bananas recpies?
    I cant quite tell …
    Thanks!

  20. DeeBee
    July 3, 2014 / 6:04 pm

    I tried this today (with corned beef – judge not) and it was delicious.
    Just to add – When boiling the bananas with the skin still ON, they may have to be boiled for longer than 20 minutes. I cooked for a little more than 20 minutes and they were still quite hard when peeled. They turned out a lot better when I peeled them (easy-to-peel by then) and put them in boiling water for about 8 more minutes.

    Will be trying again if I happen across some green bananas.

  21. DeeBee
    July 2, 2014 / 5:18 pm

    I will definitely be trying this as I bought three green bananas by accident and don’t want to keep them too long. No fish, so I may have to buy some or get creative. Thanks, much love!

  22. Velma
    June 24, 2014 / 9:05 pm

    Hi Chris. Great recipe. Since I’m hypertensive I would prob have to pan sear fresh salmon and boil some trini dumplings with the fig. Luv my dumplings

  23. karasi
    February 20, 2014 / 11:15 am

    Thanks for sharing.

    For the vegetarians, Tofu is also an excellent replacement for the fish

  24. DinDin
    January 6, 2014 / 7:03 pm

    Awesome! Did it with salted fish, left out the ketchup. My Dad said I had a good hand, cannot believe. Thanks for the great recipe. Now on to review the Ham Bone soup!

  25. Mary
    October 30, 2013 / 1:38 pm

    Heading to SVG for Xmas and was looking for food my US kid and UK husband might eat.
    Thanks for sharing.

  26. Eileen
    October 12, 2013 / 9:55 am

    I have not tried the recipe as yet but sure to do so.Just had to comment as I was impressed by your simple step by step instruction,explination and pictures.

  27. josephine
    September 20, 2013 / 12:16 pm

    Hello Chris.Thank you so much for your recipes.
    Love.Bye.

  28. April 16, 2013 / 11:05 am

    Chris,

    Oh my lawd!! So glad I stumbled on this website, because I was searching for a recipe to make a dish with green bananas. Trying to change my eating habits; this is a first in the process. I love everything I have seen. I am from the islands too, but I don't know how to cook that way. Been in the USA too long.

    Lee[ up the good work.

  29. Flora
    April 14, 2013 / 9:18 am

    I finished coking it, and it is awesome!! I used anchovy in place of salmon, and it came out pretty well. Thank you for the delicious recipe!

  30. Fiona
    April 14, 2013 / 9:00 am

    About to make ths without the fish.

  31. Brenda
    January 31, 2013 / 3:00 pm

    like this

  32. Winnifred G Poole
    November 29, 2012 / 6:50 am

    Always love green figs. Now my mouth is just watering reading this recipe. Thank you Chris. Will cook this today in the USA we have lots of green figs ( Trini).

  33. Patrina
    November 13, 2012 / 6:31 pm

    hi Chris, I love your coconut shrimp and mango sauce recipe. Can't wait to try. keep up the excellent work. Love Yah!!!!

  34. Cherry
    October 31, 2012 / 11:04 am

    Will definite try this both ways – with the canned salmon and with the salt fish

  35. Zarana
    October 30, 2012 / 7:13 pm

    So glad I found you. While eating my cabbage fry (good but not great), I remembered eating a heavenly Jamaican cabbage dish, began Googling and voila, here you are. The heart you put into your cooking is obvious. I hope your life and cooking are always filled up with love.

  36. Helen
    October 30, 2012 / 9:38 am

    Just tried your recipe. Great! Used small very green cooking bananas. Had no ketchup so used about a tsp or two of tomato paste. Had no chili peppers so used chili powder and a bit of bottled picant sauce. Substituted leeks for green onion. Happened to have bought pre-cooked salt cod the day before so I shredded it (to make sure there were no bones) and voila! Delicious! Just finished eating it. Husband loved it too! (I did add a couple of teaspoons of water toward the end to make sure the dish didn´t dry out.) Looking forward to more of your recipes!

  37. Lisa
    June 16, 2012 / 7:39 pm

    Chris I am making this right now and can't wait to eat it. Thanks for all the delicious recipes!

  38. Golden
    May 22, 2012 / 7:48 pm

    Lol, first time doing a meal like this. I didn't have the green fig or the salmon so I used Irish/English potato and canned tuna, mmmmmm. Thanks again Chris.

  39. jill
    May 14, 2012 / 4:01 pm

    Hi Chris, I just have a question about green bananas~are the also known as a plaintain?

    • chris
      May 14, 2012 / 10:12 pm

      No, plantains are different. Much bigger in size and a bit different in taste. These are commonly known as cooking bananas (green fig)

  40. ansapphiregael
    February 28, 2012 / 7:57 pm

    This looks lovely especially at it combines tinned fish with grreen banana….wed lunch here I come!
    Could this be used with tinned mackerel?

  41. Alvena Bissoon
    December 8, 2011 / 7:58 am

    Great recipe! Have you ever tried it with various vegetables as a vegetarian dish, it looks just as it tastes.

  42. December 7, 2011 / 8:08 pm

    This makes me think of boiled and fried green plantains.

  43. yolande
    December 7, 2011 / 5:14 pm

    this looks so delicious, but I want to try it with salted fish,your recipes are always so interesting, but can you post a recipe for a ' plain sponge' cake please
    thank you
    God bless

  44. juliana
    November 15, 2011 / 9:53 am

    Great recipe !!! I couldn´t find canned salmon, so I cooked a piece of salmon with a little oil and salt, shereded it and it worked beautifuly!

  45. Renee
    November 14, 2011 / 7:37 pm

    Cant wait to try it. My hubby is from Dominica & does not of the cooking, but I want to surprise him.

  46. Anita Maharaj
    November 14, 2011 / 1:27 pm

    Mmmmmmmm,sounds good! Ive recently stopped eating meat so, this sounds like a quick nutritious breakfast/lunch/dinner.. I will be trying it out very soon! Thanks!!

  47. Margie
    November 6, 2011 / 11:15 pm

    LOVE, Love, love your recipie. Can't wait too try it.
    Thank you!

  48. Oshane
    October 26, 2011 / 7:27 pm

    I just tried that recipe and ended up using a tin Tuna instead of salmon…lol but it came out good still.

  49. TH_EEZ
    October 17, 2011 / 5:09 pm

    THANKS CRIS I WANT TO LEARN MORE CARIBBEAN DISH

  50. momaskitchen
    October 15, 2011 / 4:52 am

    I would love to get green bananas over here (Sweden) but there is none. But I bought som nice salt fish last time I went to the UK, so maybe I'll do with some plantains instead of the figs ๐Ÿ™‚ and try this dish out anyway. As you say, hunger and craving is the best motivation in the kitchen! ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. October 14, 2011 / 10:17 am

    Not sure where I can find Green Figs. I'll ask the same question as RonBoyd, are they like Plantains? Those we have in the stores. This looks so good. I usually don't like canned salmon but look forward to trying this if I can find the figs. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • chris
      October 14, 2011 / 11:54 am

      Try any large grocery store chain, West Indian super markets or Asian markets. Aks for green fig, green banana or cooking banana.

  52. Molly
    October 13, 2011 / 5:58 pm

    Hi Chris, love this recipe .Have you ever tried green fig salad instead of potato salad.
    Yummy, all the same.

  53. RonBoyd
    October 13, 2011 / 5:25 pm

    Are Green Figs like Plantains?

    • Chris
      October 14, 2011 / 11:53 am

      No, green figs are just unripened bananas. However they may be a different variety banana than what you'd get ripe in the grocery stores in North America. That said.. the ones I got were "Dole" so you can always ask you grocer if they stock Dole cooking bananas.

      • Lilian
        December 20, 2011 / 10:18 am

        I think plantains and cooking bananas are the same, Chris. So, green figs would be green plantains. At least I bought plantains to cook when living in the US, and I'm from the Caribbean too.

        • Taryna
          May 22, 2012 / 6:12 pm

          Plantains and green bananas are very different!! Even though Wiki says they are the same! (Wikipedia is not a peer-reviewed source by the way). The taste, look and feel very very different….
          Chris, green fig salad is one of my favorite dishes in the whole wide world!!! I've never seen it in any recipe book ever! Thanks for recognizing some of the world's best unnoticed foods…

          • Natalie
            September 15, 2012 / 8:31 am

            They are two different things. The don't differ botanically but they have two different tastes, size and texture.

          • Kim
            January 22, 2013 / 6:49 pm

            Exactly, … normally you would lightly brown plantain … you can serve them as a side with breakfast or dinner … Green banana is a totally diffrent thing …and unless you boil them … I don't know what else you could do … unless you fry them like the spanish in thin slices and lightly salt them.

        • Jennifer
          March 17, 2013 / 1:47 pm

          Hi Lilian, plantaian and bananas are the same family but not by the same thing. Green plantain is unripe plantain. Green fig is unripe ang immature green banana. All the best, Jennifer

  54. Marcia
    October 13, 2011 / 2:02 pm

    Lawd, mekking me feel hungry!!!!

  55. Vanessa Belcon
    October 13, 2011 / 1:21 pm

    I really enjoy green figs ( the younger the better for me) wondering though if i would like the salmon or maybe i would try it with salt fish!!!! and when last have u had boiled chiquito figs full -or just turning as they say here!!!! That may taste good as well, the slight sweetness of the figs with the salted salmon/salt fish.
    Keep up the great work Chris really look forward to your recipes!!!!!

    • Anita Maharaj
      November 14, 2011 / 1:23 pm

      Mmmmmmm, sounds good, ive recently stopped eating meat so, sounds like a quick healthy breakfast/lunch/dinner.. Thanks!

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