Hope month dinner party dish: Banana flower salad

I’ve always adored the banana flower salad at Spice Market in Kirribilli. It’s fresh, yet creamy, packed full of delicious rich flavours and a tang of citrus, beautifully presented in the banana flower’s outer leaves.

When shopping in Marrickville for a recent dinner party, I spied a banana flower and decided to try something new. With a little help from a recipe by The Gourmet Forager, I made a pretty decent approximation, albeit a vegetarian version. This would make a great, and very easy, entree for your Hope Month dinner party!

To prepare the flower, peel away the outer leaves until you get to the pale green/yellow insides. Save the outer leaves for decoration.

As this was my first attempt, I didn’t realise that you had to rip off all the baby bananas too. And put all the leaves straight into a bowl of water with lemon/lime in it to stop the icky sticky black sap from getting everywhere!

Once you’ve reached the pale, yellow inner leaves, cut off the stem – you should only be able to see leaves, no baby bananas thingies, inside the bit you’re going to slice.

Slice the leaves finely and soak in a (separate) bowl of water.

Make a dressing using:

  • 3 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (substitute with light soy for vegos)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar

When ready to serve, squeeze out the banana flower and combine with the dressing, then add:

  • 3-4 tbsp crushed toasted peanuts
  • 2 finely shredded kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 finely sliced Asian shallots
  • 2 tbsp chopped dried shrimp (leave out for vegos)

Toss and spoon into purple banana flower leaves. Top with deep-fried shallots and fresh coriander. Serve immediately.

2 thoughts on “Hope month dinner party dish: Banana flower salad

    • Being the south-east Asian addict I am, I’ve tried every possible dish available in Australia! Try it in a good Thai/Vietnamese restaurant and I’ve sure you’ll want to experiement too… 🙂

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