Many parts of a banana tree can be eaten including the banana blossom. There are many varieties of banana trees. This banana blossom salad was made from a banana tree that bears bananas with black seeds that resemble black peppers. This type of banana is called chuối hột in Vietnamese. The bananas are edible and some people do not like the hard seeds. My grandfather liked to eat these bananas when he was alive. As a child I remember eating these bananas and spitting out the seeds. This type of banana tree produces very good banana blossoms and they make excellent salads. When I was in Vietnam my cousin, Hui Chieu made this banana blossom salad with boiled shrimp,basil leaves and lemon juice. The result was DELICIOUS!! Thank you, H. Chieu!!
Banana Blossom and Shrimp Salad (serves 6 as part of a shared meal)
1 medium size banana blossom
1 lb of fresh shrimp
1 handful of Thai basil leaves
1/2 of a lemon
1) Peel off the outer layers of a banana blossom until you reached the white blossom. Cut the blossom in half and core each half. Thinly slice the blossom and let it soak in the water. Once the blossom is sliced, wash and drain the cut blossom completely. Also see How to Prepare a Banana Blossom.
2) Cook the shrimp in boiling water for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked. Drain the liquid and let the shrimp cooled before peeling them.
3) In a large bowl, add the cut blossom and the peeled shrimp. Roughly tear the basil leaves into the bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the salad. Mix the contents well. Serve the salad in a large platter or divide the contents into smaller plates.
4) Drizzle some Vietnamese Dipping Sauce on top before eating.
|my Ah Ma and a view from her roof top deck|
--she climbed 3 flights of stair to get up here
|with Ah Ma|
|Ah Ma in her backyard|
which is full of fruit trees
including many banana trees
|a cluster of banana trees|
|Kiem (my aunt) harvesting a banana blossom|
|beautiful banana blossom|
|banana blossom and shrimp salad|
|mix the salad well before eating|