Thursday, March 24, 2016

Recipe: Banana Blossom Salad with Prawns

We have been enjoying a bountiful supply of bananas from our garden for the past year. Usually, we would discard or give away the banana blossom (aka banana heart or banana flower or jantung pisang in Malay) as we do not quite know what to do with it. This time, we saved it and made a salad out of it!

Banana Blossom Salad with Prawns

The banana blossom we got this time was pretty small, so preparing it took a mere 5 minutes. First you will need to remove the tough reddish outer layer, also known as bracts. You can use these bracts for serving plates for your salad. The white or pale yellow colored heart is the edible part - before slicing them, prepare a bowl of water and add either lime juice or vinegar to it. You will need to soak the sliced banana heart in the acidic water to remove bitterness and waxy sap from it.

We also harvested other goodies from our garden such as Vietnamese mint (daun kesum), mint, and calamansi limes - Felt pretty amazing getting to use all these lovely produce from our garden in this salad. I made a simple dressing from the calamansi limes, honey and fish sauce.

This is a simple, appetizing salad - will definitely be making this again the next time we harvest another banana blossom! :)

Please watch this video on how to make this simple banana blossom salad with prawns (watch in full screen here)

Banana Blossom Salad with Prawns
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: less than 1 minute
Serves 1-2

1 small banana blossom
2 cup water
1-2 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 Chinese cabbage leaf, washed and sliced thinly
1 stalk Vietnamese mint (daun kesum), washed and chopped
2 stalks mint, washed and chopped
8 prawns, peeled, deveined with tails intact

For the dressing
Juice from 2 calamansi limes
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp fish sauce

1. Fill a bowl with 2 cups water and 1-2 tablespoonfuls of vinegar.

2. Peel off the bracts (tough reddish outer layer) and florets one by one. These bracts can be used as serving plates for your salad. Stop peeling once you have reached the white or pale yellow colored heart, this part is edible and tender. The florets are also edible.

2. Cut the heart into half, and then thinly slice. Place them into the acidic water for about 30 minutes, this helps it remove some bitterness as well as the sticky sap. Before using, drain and rinse in cold water.

3. In a pot of boiling water, blanch the prawns for 10-15 seconds, then remove and allow to cool.

4. In a small bowl, add the ingredients for the dressing - lime juice, honey and fish sauce, and mix well.

5. In a large mixing bowl, add the drained, sliced banana heart, cabbage leaf, mint and Vietnamese mint. Pour over the dressing and mix well. Add the prawns and serve in the reserved bracts.

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