Salads, Thai Food

“Yam Hua Plee” Banana flower salad

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This is another favourite Thai dish that takes a bit of preparation time but is well worth the effort. Banana flowers are used in quite a few Thai dishes and this is certainly a popular one. The flowers have a slight bitterness to them and I like to grill them before making the salad which is optional but I like the deep earthy flavour it gives the dish. It’s easy to make this vegan just serve without the eggs! This morning I went out looking for banana flowers and found four in the woods beside our house.

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Start by hard boiling 2-3 eggs and allow them to cool. Then peel off the darker harder petals of the banana flowers until you reach the lighter more tender heart. I used two flowers for my large salad.

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Cut these in half and soak in hot slated water for a couple of minutes this helps release the sap from the flowers and will help stop them browning if you decide to use them raw in your salad. I prefer to grill them so I cut them in half length ways and put them on a hot griddle for about 5 minutes.

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These then need to be sliced finely, removing any tough outer leaves. Then put them in a mixing bowl.

P1020499Next make the dressing, for this in a saucepan mix together about 1tbsp of palm sugar, 1 -2 tbsp of vegetarian Thai chilli paste, 2-3tbsp of light soy sauce about 5-6 tbsp of coconut milk and warm these up until they all combine.

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Next poach some chopped mushrooms in water (about 100-150g) and then drain them. Chop up 6-8 cherry tomatoes and add everything into the bowl with the banana flowers. Next in a frying pan dry fry a handful of raw peanuts until brown and put them in a pestle and mortar, put over half in the salad a keep the rest to sprinkle garnish the salad. Squeeze the juice of half a lime into the mixture.

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Next finely slice about 6-8 red shallots and fry these until golden brown and crispy and also fry 2-3 dry chillies for a few seconds until crisp. To assemble the salad put some salad leaves on a large plate and then put the banana flower salad in the middle. Garnish it with the fried shallots, remaining roasted peanuts, fried chillies and some coriander leaves. Peel the hard boiled eggs and cut them in half and arrange them around the salad. You can have this as part of a Thai meal. I served it tonight with sesame crusted tofu. Enjoy!

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