Monday, 22 March 2010
This recipe was part of a big Vietnamese feast I made in 2009.
I cooked up a storm using a beautiful cookbook by a Vietnamese- Australian family who run some very famous restaurants in Sydney.
Their food in the restaurants is fresh and exquisite, the flavours actually dancing on your tongue, and their cookbook truly helps you relive those memories at home.
This recipe is a combination of two separate recipes, but I wanted to combine squid and banana blossom so this was the result: tangy, spicy and fresh.
Gỏi Mực Bắp Chuối (Vietnamese Banana Blossom & Squid Salad)
Combination of two recipes from Secrets of The Red Lantern.
Serves 2 as main or 6 as part of banquet.
1 calamari tube, sliced into strips
Juice of 2 limes
1 banana blossom
1 small handful Vietnamese mint, roughly chopped
1 small handful coriander, roughly chopped
1 spring onion (scallion), finely sliced
2-3 tablespoons Nước Mắm Chấm (dipping fish sauce)
1 tablespoon roasted peanuts, chopped
2 tablespoons deep fried shallots
1 birds eye chilli, finely sliced
White vinegar, for soaking
1. In a small bowl, add the squid strips to the lime and allow to marinate for 1 hour.
2. Fill a bowl with water and add 2-3 tablespoons of cheap white vinegar. This water will prevent the banana blossom from oxidising and turning dark brown.
3. Remove the dark, tough outer leaves of the banana blossom to reveal tender white leaves inside. Quickly slice, then immediately immerse in the acidulated water to prevent oxidisation.
4. Cook the squid over a very hot griddle until tender (2-5 minutes).
5. Combine the squid, banana blossom, Vietnamese mint, coriander, scallion, nước mắm chấm, chilli and roasted peanuts. Toss salad well.
6. Top with deep fried shallots and serve immediately.
The banana blossom is the gorgeous, crimson, tapered bud at the end of a cluster of bananas.
The petals (or bracts) are tightly wrapped and purple-red, concealing rows of frilly male flowers and a pale, tender heart that is eaten as a vegetable. It can be boiled or stewed, often in coconut milk, or it’s served thinly sliced into salads.
The blossom is slightly astringent, like banana peels, so when raw it’s best served thinly sliced and in spicy-sweet-sour sauces, such as this recipe.
The red bracts are so pretty cleaned and used to serve the final dish.
The banana blossom is my Weekend Herb Blogging ingredient, this week hosted by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina. Be sure to visit her blog to read the round-up.
Other recipes from the internet:
Banana Blossom Curry
Banana Blossom Salad w Chicken & Asian Pears
Banana Flower Vadai (patties)
Filipino-Style Banana Blossoms in Coconut Milk
Banana Heart Salad
Banana Blossom Stir Fry
Prawn & Banana Blossom Salad
Spicy Banana Blossoms