Food & Drink Magazine

Guineos En Escabeche (Green Banana Salad)

By Jannese Torres @delishdlites
Guineos en escabeche is a pickled green banana side dish that is very popular in Puerto Rico. This dish is often served for special occasions around the holidays, and they also make a great summer side dish with grilled chicken or seafood.

Guineos en escabache is a dish that always transports me to the holidays or family parties. It's a dish that I always request when I visit my family in the Bronx, as my uncle Richie is the reigning king of this recipe. You can often find this recipe made with chicken gizzards as an addition ingredient, but if that's not your cup of tea, that's perfectly fine. The green bananas alone are delicious.

Are green bananas okay to eat?

Absolutely! Guineos verdes, or green bananas are exactly what they sound like...unripe bananas, and they're SO good, but you can't eat them raw lie you would a yellow banana. They're not commonly eaten in American culture, but in the Caribbean, green bananas are as ubiquitous as boiled potatoes. I love going to Guavate, the official roasted pork-capital of Puerto Rico, and eating some delicious lechon with boiled green bananas on the side, with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. They're starchy and have wonderful toothsome texture when boiled.

How To Make Guineos En Escabeche

First thing's first, we have to make the escabeche sauce that we will use to marinate the cooked green bananas in. It's a very simple warm dressing made with olive oil, vinegar, black peppercorns, bay leaves and slices onions. You can definitely taste the influence of Spanish culture in guineos en escabeche.

Escabeche refers to a technique, rather than a specific dish. Typically, it involves some sort of meat or fish (or sometimes root vegetables like yuca or cooked green bananas), marinated and/or cooked in an acidic mixture (vinegar) and sometimes colored with pimenton (Spanish paprika) or saffron.

The word derives from al-sikbaj, the name of a popular ancient Persian meat dish cooked in a sweet-and-sour sauce, usually vinegar and honey or date molasses. It's believed that Spain and Portugal were introduced to the al-sikbaj dish during the Moorish conquests between 790 and 1300 AD. This technique has spread all over the world, in many different forms - The Phillippines has adobo, Jamaica has escoveitch, and many Latin American countries have a world-wide fave called ceviche.

To make the sauce, you bring the olive oil up to a gentle simmer, add the sliced onions, vinegar, black peppercorns, bay leaves & salt, and cook it until the onions are soft but not browned. Then once the bananas are cooked, you drain the bananas and pour the escabeche sauce over the top, mix to combine, and then marinate them for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to meld.

Guineos En Escabeche (Green Banana Salad)

More Puerto Rican recipes from Delish D'Lites

Guineos En Escabeche (Green Banana Salad)

Guineos En Escabeche (Puerto Rican Green Banana Salad)

Guineos En Escabeche (Green Banana Salad)

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