Recipe: Banana vegan 'pulled pork' and slaw bao buns

Plant-based and zero-waste diets are surging in popularity, with takeaway joints, cafes and coffee shops around the country popping out options for their vegan clientele like hotcakes.

It makes sense. In the last two years, the number of vegan and vegetarian Kiwis has increased by a whopping 20 percent, to 250,000 across the country.

If you're keen on living that zero-waste life, and getting a few more plants in there, you might just care to whip up this dinner recipe with the most unexpected of items - banana skin. 

Recipe: Banana vegan 'pulled pork' and slaw bao buns
Photo credit: Supplied.

That's right, that tough, stringy outer skin that would usually go straight in the rubbish can be the filling of your next show-stopping meal. Happy eating!

Makes: 6 bao buns



  • 3 Dole bananas, yellow but firm
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 packet readymade Asian slaw mix
  • 6 bao buns
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves and toasted sesame seeds to garnish



  1. Wash the bananas well then slice each end off. Peel the bananas and scrape out the white part with the edge of a spoon or a paring knife.
  2. Using a large fork, shred the banana peels into long thin ribbons then cut them into approx. 5cm lengths. Place in a bowl and add paprika, chilli flakes, mustard and cumin. Mix to combine.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and fry until translucent. Add banana mix and cook for about 5 minutes. Add a little water if the pan looks too dry. (TIP: The riper the bananas are, the quicker they will cook.)
  4. Add hoisin sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the banana peels are tender. Taste and season accordingly.
  5. Place coleslaw and banana mix in bao buns, garnish generously with coriander and sesame seeds and serve.

This recipe was provided by Dole New Zealand.