VIETNAMESE BANANA FLOWER SALAD – SIMPLE BUT SUBTLE
Hanoi, which is the capital of Vietnam, is famous for cuilinary center with plenty of different delicious dishes. There street foods make a quite important constribution to to help Hanoian cuisine become more unique and attractive. More specifically, “Nom hoa chuoi” (banana flower salad) is one of the most well-known and favourable dish not only for people who love Hanoi cuisine but also for the ones feeling deep concern in their own national foods because it is easy to make, easy to eat and of course easy to remember.
Banana blossom (or banana flower) is popularly used as a type of vegetable in Vietnam, especially in the Central. It’s considered to be a cool vegetable that is preferred to consume in the summer and then salad with mixture of banana flower and other fresh ingredients is created. Honestly, when talking about banana blossom salad, everyone will definitely feel its familiarity, simplicity and closeness at once – a typical gift of Vietnamese villages and mountains and forests as well.
“Nom hoa chuoi” is one of the most popular cold salads throughout Viet Nam. However, in the past, it only appears on the vegetarian rice tray or popular rice tray in the countrysides. In recent years, although this salad is not very difficult to prepare, and only needs about 15 minutes to make, it is considered as the speciality dish in a number of restaurants and street stores in Hanoi.
There’re a variety of recipes for it like banana blossom salad with chicken, banana blossom salad with shrimp or with tofu. For me, frankly, no matter what its ingredients are and how it is made, this unique salad still is the dish I like most because it always reminds me of my first green summer in Quang Binh province. That is the wonderful time I have ever experienced along with my friends and minority ethnic people when doing together, eating together and even sleeping together. Then, obviously, because banana flower is very easy to find and to make, it became the main dish in our every meal at that difficult time when we volunteer there. Now I would like to introduce how to make the recipe of banana flower salad with pork, pretty simple and exotic.
First of all, the ingredients often used to make this tasty salad:
– 300gr sliced banana flower
– 2 starfruits, 2 carrots
– 100gr bean-sprouts
– 2 gutted and shredded cucumber
– 180 gr shredded boiled piecies of pig ears
– Other seasonings: sesame, crushed roasted peanuts, sugar, salt, vinegar, pepper, crushed garlic, pouf herbs,…
Now let’s make this salad according to the below steps:
Step 1: Make the marinade: Take a bowl to squeeze a lemon into, take its seeds out and then gradually put the sugar, chopped chili and garlic into. Then stir the mixture with a little water and fish sauce until dissolved. You can put more some sugar until tasting the sweet-sour balance.
Step 2: Slice the banana blossom very thin and place them in a bowl of rice water or water with a little vinegar / lemon to make them whiter, and lime for about 20 minutes, then squeeze until dry and set aside.
Step 3: Dip the pig ears over the boiled water, rub it with salt and wash. Afterthat, boil pig ears for about 15 minutes then take out and leave to cool. Slice them into thin pieces.
Step 4: Wash starfruits, carrots and cucumbers. Then slice starfruits quite thin, gut and shred carrots and cucumbers
Step 5: Wash pouf herbs and lime them on salty water for 15 minutes then take out and squeeze until dry.
Step 6: Wash bean-sprouts and leave to dry
Step 7: Combine sliced banana blossom, sliced pieces of pig ears, bean-sprouts, shredded slices of starfruits and cucumbers, green pepper, coriander, pouf herbs, marinade and crushed roasted peanuts in a large bowl and toss until well blended.
Step8: Arrange the salad on a serving platter (or as we did, on a thick part of the banana or cabbage leaf) and sprinkle with shallots, peanuts.
And now, serve and enjoy this Vietnamese unique salad dish that you never find in Western cuisine.