Banana Flower Salad Recipe
One large banana flower. You can find it at most Asian grocery stores or if you have a friend who has a banana tree.
1/4 cup white vinegar.
1/2 lb. pork belly. You can substitute chicken or shrimp or use both or all three.
1/2 cup crushed roasted unsalted peanuts.
Herbs. I used peppermint, perilla and Vietnamese coriander but you can use whatever mint you like.
Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze the lemons into the water, then add the vinegar. This prevents the flower from turning brown. Using a mandolin or large vegetable peeler, slice the flower thinly into the bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes then drain and squeeze dry. There will be a lot of small pieces that falls through the colander, don't worry you don't need it.
Poach whatever protein you are using. If using shrimp, I recommend you slice the shrimp horizontally after poaching. This gives the salad a better balance of texture when eating.
Chop or chiffonade the herbs you are using.
Add the meat, herbs, and crushed peanuts to the banana flower. Tossed with Vietnamese nuoc cham (recipe below) for an authentic flavor or try your own dressing. Let us know your favorite dressing recipe.
1/4 cup of Vietnamese fish sauce. I prefer the 3 Crab brand.
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice. It must be fresh, please do not use bottled lime juice.
1/4 cup sugar
2 thai chilis (more or less depending on how adventurous you are)
1 clove of garlic
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend or you can use a mortar and pestle. If using mortar and pestle, place the garlic, chili peppers and 4-5 tablespoons of the sugar into the mortar and crush until the peppers and garlic is finely minced. Then add the rest of the sugar and all other ingredients and stir until the sugar dissolves.