Banana Blossom Salad

Banana blossoms, although have no particular distinct flavour, may add an exotic touch to the salad or other vegetable dishes. Coming back home a few weeks ago, I had fun experimenting with various type of veggies available mostly in Asia like this banana blossoms - and papaya blossom (posted next). The distinct fragrance of banana blossom brings back childhood memories. Mom used to serve them steamed with sambal and sayur lodeh.

* 1 whole banana blossom
* 1/4 lettuce - thinly sliced
* 2 pcs carrots - julienned
* 3 pcs shallots - thinly sliced
* 2 pcs garlic, smashed
* 1 tbs dried shrimp - pounded smooth (optional)
* 1 cup fresh mint leaves
* 1 cup fresh cilantro
* 1 cup fresh thai basil (optional)
* 2 pcs lemon
* 2 pcs red chilies - processed
* olive oil, fish sauce, salt, pepper, sugar to taste
* roasted peanuts to sprinkle

1.) Peel banana blossom to a lighter color of petal.
Do not discard the darker petal which can be used for plating
2.) Thinly slice the blossom, soak in lemon squeeze, vinegar & salt for 1 hr. Set aside
3.) Prepare dressing by mixing olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, red chilies, salt, sugar, dried shrimp
vinegar/lemon squeeze. Taste it
4.) In a bowl, mix in lettuce + all leaves & shallots. Add banana blossoms & dressing
5.) Serve on petals, sprinkle with roasted peanuts

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