Vietnam’s banana flower salad, nom hoa chuoi packs a much bigger punch than a typical plate of mixed greens.
Banana flowers (thick purple lumps that will later turn into bunches of bananas) are peeled and thinly sliced then mixed with green papaya, carrots, and cilantro along with chicken and a heavy-handed pour of a salty fish sauce dressing and crunchy peanuts.
- Place the layers of the banana blossom (or the cabbage leaves) on top of each other and roll them tightly together.
- Slice very thinly into ribbons and place in a bowl of ice water and lime juice for about 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, squeeze the blossom until dry and set aside.
- Add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a small bowl and stir until dissolved.
- Combine the banana blossom, papaya or mango, onion, carrot, green pepper, coriander, mint leaves and peanuts in a large bowl, add the dressing and toss until well blended.
- Arrange the salad on a serving platter (or even better, on a thick green banana leaf) and sprinkle with the shallots, additional peanuts and red chili, to taste.