Banana blossom or banana flower is a common ingredient in Southeast Asia.
It's at all the local markets, clean, shredded and crispy waiting to be used.
In one of my previous posts I gave a recipe for chicken and banana flower stewed with coconut milk.
That was a great dish from the North of Thailand.
I've been living in Vietnam for a couple of years now, so I'm adding some great banana flower salad recipes too.
In Cambodia my favourite was banana flower salad with chicken and ram leaf. Incredible.
Here in Vietnam it's commonly made with local chicken, roast duck and seafood.
In Danang we're on the coast, so seafood is the most popular.
Last year we kicked off an exciting Vegan and Vegetarian menu at the resort and banana blossom / banana flower is one of the best salads on that menu.
The vegan banana blossom salad recipe is at the bottom of this post, with photo
It used to be an occasional treat but I'm eating banana flower salads at least every week now.
Some people don't like the chalky astringent texture, but that's more pronounced in raw green banana than in the blossom itself.
The shallot oil and lime juice make a great 'vinaigrette' and you can feel this salad doing you good as you eat it.
Talking about health benefits, banana blossom is beneficial for pregnant women, also very high in fibre.
They contain saponins, which lower LDL ("Bad" cholesterol) and boost immunity.
Banana flower is also common as part of the lively salad plates and side dishes so common in Vietnam.
Pictured above, a side salad for "Mi Quang" – the famous noodle dish from central Vietnam's Quang Nam province.
Banana blossom salad with grilled seafood
100g Banana blossom, sliced
90g Prawn, Tiger 30-35/kg size
70g Squid, large, cleaned
30g Mint, fresh
20g Chilli, large red
10g Fish sauce, Vietnamese
30g Sugar, white, plain
50g Limes, fresh
20g Shallot Oil
Chicken & banana blossom salad recipe
100g Banana blossom, sliced
15g Ram leaf / Vietnamese Mint
70g Chicken meat, cooked, skinless, boneless
20g Shallots, red, peeled
10g Lime Juice, fresh
20ml Shallot Oil
15g Coconut, fresh, grated
5g Fish sauce, Vietnamese
Grilled pork & banana blossom rice paper wraps
1 ea Rice paper (dry, for dipping in water)
30g Banana blossom, sliced
40g Pork Loin
7g Hue basil
3g Fish sauce, Vietnamese
5g Roasted Peanuts
See below for the rice-paper wraps photo – we serve it as a garnish for the lemongrass prawns.
The method is quite simple.
Just moisten dry rice-paper with room temperature water, then immediately pat dry
Lay out banana blossom, grilled pork, Hue basil, roasted peanuts and season with fish sauce (not much)
Roll into 'goi cuon' salad rolls. We serve these with lemongrass-skewered prawns and chilli butter.
As you see, these can also be a tidy, easily shared or handled snack if rolled up in rice paper
Last but not least, here's a vegetarian option.
We were the first hotel in central Vietnam to introduce a dedicated Vegan and Vegetarian menu.
Rather than just put things with no meat, we went to a lot of effort to put together a creative vegan & vegetarian menu with some unique local flavours. The Vegan banana flower salad was a great dish, so here's the recipe.
It presents well, and tastes great.
70g Banana blossom, sliced
12g Ram leaf / Vietnamese Mint
25g Lime Juice, fresh
8g Ginger root
5g Chilli, large red
40g Shallot Oil
8g Crispy Fried shallots
15g Shallots, red, peeled
60g Tofu, white, hard
5g Sesame seeds, white
8g Chillies, Dry, Red
¼ea Banh Trang – Rice Sesame Paper