Nom Hoa Chuoi (Banana blossom salad)

It is used to a rustic dish that now turns to be a specialty in Vietnam cuisine. In the south, it is called “gỏi hoa chuối”. It is such a lifetime experience being exposed to its explosion of different flavors and amazing texture contrasts. The cooking begins with the tough, outer layers of the banana blossom peeled off and discarded. Banana blossom is crunchy with subtle, slightly floral fragrance. Next, slice it into fine julienne strips; soak it into large bowl of cold water and white vinegar or lemon juice to prevent it from browning. Then sliced boiled pig ears or boiled shredded chicken breast is prepared and let it cool.  
Photo: beptruong.edu.vn

Sour star fruits are sliced thinly, combined with bean sprouts, banana blossom, sliced big ears, mint, and cilantro. To make the dressing, along with sugar and vinegar, garlic, lemongrass, chili, lime juice and fish sauce are mixed to a fine proportion. When the dish is relished, the salad is placed into a banana blossom bowl, tossed finely with the dressing and topped with chopped roasted peanuts and fried shallots. It looks more than an artistic work. Just enjoy every bite and make the most of the subtle flavor of herbs, the crispiness of banana blossom, and big ears, the chewy and tender taste of chicken, the nutty flavor of roasted peanut and the harmony of the seasoning….

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