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.