We have spent a lot of the last four years in Thailand, therefore I do cook many Thai style meals. I usually shop at the local SuperCheap (a Thai supermarket) and consequently use mostly Thai vegetables and fruits in our meals.
For over a year now I have regularly seen banana flowers in the veggie section and finally decided to make a banana blossom salad. Using the traditional flavours of Thai cuisine this what I came up with…
3 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 Tablespoon palm sugar*
1 Tablespoon chilli paste or chilli jam
3 Tablespoons coconut cream
1 banana blossom
1 large red chilli
1 large green chilli
1 small carrot (or 1/2 a large carrot)
2 spring onions
4 Tablespoons of Asian fried shallots
2 Tablespoons of crushed peanuts**
Mix the lime sauce, fish sauce, palm sugar and chilli paste in a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add coconut cream and blend well. Check for the right balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy. Adjust as needed (fish sauce – salty, sugar – sweet, lime juice – sour and chilli paste – spicy). Set aside.
Cut the chillies lengthwise, remove the seeds and pith. Slice the chillies thinly and add to a large mixing bowl. Grate the carrot and add to the mixing bowl. Finely slice the spring onion and, along with the bean shoots, add to the dish. Set aside.
Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze some lemon or lime juice into it. Remove the outer leaves of the banana blossom until all dark leaves have been removed. Keep the best two outer leaves for serving. Cut the blossom lengthwise and remove inner core. Finely slice the blossom and place each slice in the water as you do so, to stop it going black.
Strain the blossom and add to the mixing bowl, add the dressing and two tablespoons of the fried onion and mix well.
Place two clean banana blossom leaves on plates and heap with the salad. Garnish with a tablespoon each of fried onion and peanuts.
*Use soft brown sugar instead of palm sugar
**I didn’t have peanuts so used a seed mix with the salad in the photos. Peanuts would definitely suit the taste better.
Chilli paste, chilli jam and Asian fried shallots found in Asian grocery stores.
This recipe will serve two as a meal or four to six as a side dish.
Add cooked prawns to make it a meal.
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