Yum hoa plee

Yum hoa plee

Banana flower salad

By
From
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Serves
6
Photographer
Alan Benson

As banana blossom is more frequently available these days, it is well worth trying it in this salad. Correct preparation is important as merely shredding it and throwing it in a dish will result in a mouth-puckering astringency that will deter any further experiments with this attractive edible blossom. When it is hard to find, you will still have a delicious salad by substituting it with witlof or Chinese cabbage.

Banana flower salad

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
400g banana flower or witlof
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
35g shredded coconut
1 yam bean, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1 large handful fresh mint leaves
1 large handful fresh coriander leaves
2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 cup Bawang goreng

Poached chicken

Quantity Ingredient
1 coriander stem and root
1 garlic clove, bruised
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 kaffir lime leaf, torn
500g chicken tenderloins
or 12 raw large prawns, peeled and deveined

Dressing

Quantity Ingredient
45g palm sugar, grated
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
1-2 tablespoons chilli jam
2 tablespoons coconut cream

Method

  1. Begin a few hours before serving by removing the leathery outer leaves of the banana flower, keeping three or four attractive ones to decorate the serving plate.
  2. Pull away the next six leaves and discard the small tube-shaped blossoms, but reserve the large petals. Cut the flower in half lengthways then into fine shreds. Combine 1 litre water with the lemon juice and salt and add the shredded leaves, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  3. To make the dressing, combine the palm sugar and boiling water in a jug and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the tamarind pulp, chilli jam and coconut cream and stir well to combine. Set aside until needed.
  4. To poach the chicken, put 750 ml water into a large saucepan. Add the coriander stems, garlic, fish sauce and kaffir lime leaf. Bring to the boil, then add the chicken and bring back to a simmer. Cover, turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through. Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a dry frying pan over low heat, watching carefully as it burns without warning. When a rich golden colour, tip onto a flat plate to cool.
  6. Drain the banana flower shreds and place in a large bowl. Add the yam bean, mint, coriander, kaffir lime leaves and onion. Add the onion flakes and coconut and toss to combine.
  7. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat. Serve the salad on a plate decorated with the reserved outer flower petals, then top with the sliced poached chicken.

Note

  • If using prawns, follow the same method for cooking as for the chicken. Prawns are cooked when they turn opaque and the tails curl.
Tags:
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Charmaine
Solomon
Asian
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