Vietnamese banana flower salad

Published:  08:08 Thursday - September 01, 2016

Vietnamese banana flower salad

Banana flower salad is the perfect combination between flower, chicken and roasted peanut. It is a popular salad in Vietnam and attracts many people because of fresh flavor.

Serves 2 as a main course 

Ingredients

1 banana flower

2 small chicken breasts

4 small sour green star fruit (again from the Vietnamese store) or 2 large yellow ones

1 tbsp caster sugar

Handful toasted peanuts, roughly chopped

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

juice of 4 limes

2-3 red chillies, finely sliced

2-3 tbsp fish sauce

A few shakes of sesame oil

Couple of pinches ground white pepper

a small bunch each of Vietnamese mint and coriander

Directions

Place the chicken breasts in a small pan and cover with water (or chicken stock), bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer very gently for 10 minutes. Pop a lid on, turn off the heat and leave the chicken to cook in the residual heat for a further 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool before shredding roughly.

Remove any loose or soft outer leaves from the banana flower, then cut into half lengthways and shred into fine strips with a large sharp knife. About 1/3 – 1/2 of the flower closest to the root will be made up of fluffy coiled buds – discard this section and use only the tightly coiled petals. Leave to soak in a bowl of water with half the lime juice whilst you get on with the rest of the salad.

Slice the star fruit and cover with the sugar and a little water to soak for 5 minutes to take the edge off the sourness ( you won’t need to do this if you’re using ripe yellow fruits – in fact you might want to add a little extra lime juice to get a good level of acidity in the final dish).

Mix the cooled and shredded chiken together the remaining lime juice, fish sauce, white pepper, chopped chilli and a little sesame oil. Drain the banana flower and star fruit and toss together with the chicken and dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning with fish sauce, lime or sesame.

Roughly shred the herbs and toss through the salad, then top with chopped peanuts and sesame seeds. Serving on a spare banana flower petal is totally optional. 

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