Banana flower, which is also called banana blossom, grows on the end of the stem holding a cluster of banana. It’s considered an Asian or tropical vegetable, it consists tightly packed leaves that wrap around rows of thin stemmed flowers. When you slice the banana blossoms, place them in the acidulated water quickly or they will turn brown.
Recipe for Banana Blossom Salad with Chicken – Gỏi Gà Bắp Chuối:
2 1/4 lb medium sized banana blossoms
1/4 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1/2 small onion, sliced paper thin lengthways
1 carrot, grated into matchsticks
2 tbsp Crispy Fried Shallots
3 tbsp Roasted Peanuts, crushed
4 cilantro sprigs
1 bunch Vietnamese coriander (rau răm), leaves seperated, washed
1 cup of Salad Fish Sauce Dressing
Poach the chicken in water or stock until cooked, then leave to cool.
Peel off the outer layer of the banana flower and remove the stalk. Cut the flower across into slices about 1/8 inch thick or as thin as possible. Immediately drop them into a wash basin filled with cold water and lime juice to avoid discoloration. Leave them in water for 15 minutes.
When ready to assemble the salad, drain the blossom and pat dry with paper towel. Shred the chicken and put it in a salad bowl with half of the dressing, let it marinade for 10 minutes.
Add the banana blossoms, cucumber, onion, carrot, Vietnamese coriander, half of fried shallots and peanuts to the chicken and toss well. Transfer the salad to a serving plate and garnish with the rest of the peanuts, fried shallots, dressing and cilantro.
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