Saturday, April 24, 2010

Green Bananas and Saltfish

Green Fig and Saltfish

By now you may realise that like mackerel, saltfish is really a staple food in my trini diet. We eat saltfish in accras, buljol, fry bake and also dumpling. It is a wonderful addition to the trini menu since it is fast and easy to prepare.

As you would notice I use the word fig for banana interchangeably that's because the Trini creole for banana is fig, so don't get confused over it and the other fig fruit. You would also notice I've added the arbitrary units for quantifying bananas, i.e. hand and grain, to get you accustomed to the Trini and by extension Caribbean terminology.

The saltfish is a type of salted cod that we get from Canada I believe. It also goes by the Portuguese name of bacalhau or Spanish bacalao. Hope you enjoy this one: it's really simple and, above all, tasty. This is real trini homemade food!


1 hand of green fig (bananas)
1 1/2 lb saltfish
3 pimento peppers, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, grated ( large side of grater)
3 med. tomatoes, chopped
1/2 large sweet pepper
1 pinch salt
1/2 tbsp. oil
1/2 cup water

A hand of fig (Banana)

A grain of fig. Mark the green fig (banana) with a knife as shown.

Place in a pot of water add 1/2 tbsp of oil ...

and a pinch of salt

Boil until the skin changes colour and the bananas are tender.

The peeled, green bananas.

Note: We usually leave the bananas in the water until we're ready to serve.
This keeps the bananas soft.

Boil the saltfish for about twenty minutes. Clean and break into smaller pieces.

Note: Even after boiling the saltfish, it may still be a little salty. To remedy this problem, place it in a bowl of water and squeeze the pieces of saltfish, handfuls at a time, and place in another bowl when finished. That should get the excess salt out. Don't over squeeze though; we need some salt to flavour the rest of ingredients.

In an iron pot, saute the onion and garlic over a medium flame until translucent.

Add the pimento peppers...

Sweet pepper...

Grated carrot...

and tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes

Add the saltfish and mix thoroughly.

Add about 1/2 cup water and let simmer for 1 minute.

The finished saltfish. Serve over the green fig (bananas).

More recipes to come.

Felix :-)



Lori Lynn

Hi Felix! This is why I love this blog!
Your dish is so completely foreign to me, and sounds absolutely fabulous! I want to cook with green bananas!


OMG, Felix, you have me drooling here. The first time I had this dish was in St. Lucia. Actually, that is where I was introduced to green bananas.

You know what, can you advise on how to go about buying green bananas? I saw some the other day but a woman standing next to me advised me to go get it because the banana was already "full", meaning that it is closer to ripening. Any tips on buying green bananas?


@ Lori Lynn I'm glad to be the first to introduce you to green bananas. There are so much recipes you could do and maybe even invent along the way!

@ Cynthia buying green bananas is not that hard. But it is rare that I buy bananas because I just went in my backyard and cut a bunch to make this dish.

Anyhow, Just like the woman told you: when it's too full or closer to ripening you can't really cook it because it will taste sour. It must have a nice uniform green colour and not about to yellow.

It's that simple: look for green bananas that does not look like a full ripe banana and yuh good to go :-)


Interesting, only yesterday I asked my husband, how they prepare the green bananas here (as opposed to plantains) and he didn't know.
In the supermarket I always see them.
I think I found a possible answer :)
Do they taste very similar to boiled plantains, or is there a big difference?


@ Foehre big difference! Well, at least in Trinidad. We boil plantains when ripe so it is sweeter. Although we do make Plantain chips with the green ones. Green bananas on the other hand don't have much of a taste when boiled. It's a little bland.


Oh, really?
That's interesting!
So you never boil the green plantain?
And what about the one you call moko?
Do you use it boiled?
Because that's really common here!
Well, I will give the green banana a try :)


Moko is boiled or fried ripe like the plantain. The only other recipe I know of using green plantain is Tom Tom. The green plantain is boiled and crushed with a mortar and pestle. Looks like another recipe to do!!


Now this Tom Tom reminds me of what they call here "Cabeza de Gato": green boiled plantain mashed and mixed with a sauce of sauteed onions, tomatoes and optional other ingredients.
I suppose there is no limit to what one can cook out of a plantain (or banana) :)


I agree Foehre. Here are some recipes I did using green bananas hope you like them as much as I do :-)

Green Banana Pie -

Green Banana Salad -

Green Banana Punch (drink)

  © by 2008 Modified by Cynthia Nelson

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