This recipe was inspired by a dish that I ate at Chim Sao, a restaurant in Hanoi, but it can be found all over Vietnam. A fantastically fresh and zingy salad beautifully presented in a purple banana blossom boat, the dressing was so good I had to drink it straight from the blossom.

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The banana blossom salad was one of a number of well thought out dishes, alongside pigeon crackers and stir-fried buffalo. One thing we learned is to listen to the advice of your waiter. She tried to warn us when we ordered two special mountain rice wines. Expecting a shot to round off a lovely meal, we were surprised when she came over with a full bottle. There was nothing for it but to sit there and finish it off. So an hour later we stumbled out with fond memories of Chim Sao, and luckily I had taken notes pre-rice wine.

notes
Notes from the restaurant

Banana blossom is not a common ingredient back home but can be found pre-sliced in asian supermarkets. Otherwise it could be substituted by other fresh salad ingredients like shredded lettuce, or fruits like melon, guava or mango and some sliced orange zest. Its worth hunting down the real thing though.

Jim Sao

 

Banana Blossom Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 15 Minutes
Banana Blossom Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 15 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Start by preparing the vegetables. Slice everything into julienne (thin strips). A mandolin is best if you have one. Then refresh them in a bowl of ice water. This will keep them crunchy
  2. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until they start to colour and give off a toasty aroma. This is to release their oils and unlock their flavour. Do the same with the peanuts. Then roughly chop them
  3. Pick the leaves of the herbs off the thicker stems and set aside
  4. Mix the orange juice, lime juice, rice viengar, sesame oil and fish sauce in a bowl and season to balance the sweet, citrus and umami flavours. Add a little salt if necessary
  5. Toss the vegetables in the dressing and place on a serving plate. Garnish with the herbs, sesame seeds and peanuts
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Banana Blossom Salad

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