Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Organic Banana Blossom & Chicken Salad

We, as the Vietnamese, we all know that banana blossoms are edible, but did you know that they have many medicinal purposes, they are rich in vitamin E, flavonoids and are used in many cuisines worldwide.

***Although the majority of the ingredients are listed as organic, please feel free to use the regular (non-organic), you guys. 
Ingredients For The Salad:
-1 medium-size of banana blossom (choose the one that looks fresh and tight)
-2 organic chicken breasts (Place all the chicken breast in a saucepan, pour some mixture of water and/or chicken broth, wine, juice, and any type of your favorite herbs, make sure the liquid cover the chicken. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat and cover with lid. Let it simmer for about 15 min. and/or until the thermometer reaches 170 degrees when inserting in the chicken breast. Remove chicken from the saucepan, let cook, and shredded, set it aside until need it.)
-2 organic carrots (peel, wash and use a mandoline, vegetable slicer with a blade to shred carrot into small strips)
-1 bulb of red onion (peel, wash, use a mandolin vegetable slice to slice it into thin slices, then soak the onion slices in a bowl of vinegar and some ice water for about 15 min, this will help to get rid of the strong onion smell) When it’s time, fish them all out, place them in a colander, let drain, set aside until need it.
-1 bunch of spearmint or the Vietnamese coriander (also known as Rau Ram) – wash thoroughly, spin-dried, chop roughly, set them aside until need it.
-Some toasted and crushed roughly organic peanuts
Ingredients For The Dressing:
-Vietnamese fish sauce (Three Blue Crabs Brand)
-Red Thai chili peppers
-Fresh Garlic
-Organic brown sugar
-Lemon juice
-Apple cider vinegar
-Mortar and pestle
Instructions: On How To Treat The Banana Blossom (It’s not a good idea to skip this step because the banana blossom would be very gooey, pasty, close to the texture of raw green banana, believe me, it not very appetite to eat. Therefore, you have to treat the banana blossom as follows:
1) In a clean medium container mix ½ cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 3 ice cubes, ¼ cup of cold water, mix well.
2) Use a sharp knife to thinly cut the banana blossom (make sure you get rid of some of the old bracts from the outside of the banana blossom) Submerse the banana blossom strings into the lemon mixture right after you cut them as you go. Continue to do that until you finish cutting the banana blossom. Combine and toss gently, so that all the banana blossom strings coat with the lemon mixture for at least 20 min.
3) After 20 min, wash and rinse all the banana blossom strings in cold water, fish them all out, last is to wash them one more them in a diluted lemon water, and it consists of 4 cups of cold water and ¼ cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice.
4) Take all the banana blossom strings out to a colander, let them drain well. Set them aside until need it.
Instruction: The Dressing:
-In a clean mortar and pestle, grind/crush 2 peeled garlic and 2 red Thai chili peppers into the paste. Scoop the paste and place into a clean medium bowl. Then, add the following ingredients: ¾ cups of organic brown sugar, 1 + ½ tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, stir well to let the sugar dissolve, last, add ¼ cup of fish sauce, mix well, set it aside until need it. **If you do not have the mortar and pestle, you can just simply mince the garlic and red Thai chili pepper on the cutting board.
Instruction: Make The Salad:
-In a clean big bowl, toss in 1/3 cup of shredded chicken, 1 cup of banana blossom strips, ¼ cup of shredded carrot and red onion strips, drizzle 1 + ½ tablespoons of the dressing, gently mix and combine them, taste for testing, you can add more dressing to your liking, last but not least is to toss in some crush toasted peanut and chopped smearmints.
-Transfer the banana blossom salad in a plate, serve them with fried shrimp chips.


shrimp chips, and other condiments such as toasted peanut, chopped Vietnamese coriander, spearmints, Vietnamese purple purilla herbs, and the Vietnamese homemade salad dressing
cooked and shredded organic chicken breast
roughly chopped the Vietnamese coriander and Vietnamese purple purilla 
 mix the salad 

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