Cabbage Salad with Banana Blossoms

Gỏi Chay Rau Răm Bắp Chuối

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4 to 6

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Little Saigon Cookbook: Vietnamese Cuisine And Culture In Southern California's Little Saigon

Little Saigon Cookbook

By Ann Le

Published 2011

  • About

This vegetarian salad is distinctive because of the banana blossoms, the flower of the banana plant. Banana blossoms, which have a high content of tannic acid, are popular in soups and salads because of their sour and tangy taste. Here they complement the crunch of the cabbage and the fish sauce. You can also add more ingredients such as tofu or shredded chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup banana blossoms
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 head green cabbage
  • ½ yellow onion
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Thai basil leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Vietnamese coriander leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup fresh mung bean sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons sliced shallots
  • cup crushed unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

    Method

    1. Remove and discard the outer layers of the banana blossoms. Soak the core of the blossoms in a bowl with 2 cups of water and the juice of 1 lime for 20 minutes.
    2. While the banana blossoms are soaking, rinse the head of cabbage, then remove the outer layers. Cut the head in half and remove the core. Shred the cabbage with the mandoline, or chop it into small shreds. Put the cabbage in a large bowl.
    3. Slice the half onion with a mandoline or cut it into paper-thin slices. Add the onion slices to the shredded cabbage.
    4. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, chili paste, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and sugar. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
    5. Drain the banana blossoms and pat dry. Julienne the blossoms into thin shreds, and add them to the cabbage and onion mix.
    6. Add the chopped basil, coriander, mint leaves, and bean sprouts to the salad bowl. Pour the fish sauce dressing all over the salad and toss.
    7. In a small skillet or saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until hot. Add the sliced shallots and fry until golden brown. Drain.
    8. Garnish the salad with the crushed peanuts and fried shallots. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes to allow the cabbage to wilt slightly, and then serve.