This crisp, textured salad is brought to life with a pineapple-chilli dressing. Use a slightly underripe pineapple for extra tartness, and add as much chilli as you can stand.
- 1 banana blossom
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- ½ cup each (loosely packed) Vietnamese mint and coriander
- ½ cup (loosely packed) bean sprouts
- 200 gm underripe pineapple, thinly sliced
- 1 red or golden shallot, thinly sliced
- To serve: fried shallots and fried chilli prawns (optional; see note)
- 3 red birdseye chillies, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 200 gm underripe pineapple, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1For pineapple-chilli dressing, pound chillies, garlic and sugar to a paste with a mortar and pestle, add pineapple and coarsely crush, then transfer to a bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients and set aside.
- 2Peel away purple outer leaves of the banana blossom and larger fingers between leaves until you get to the pale opaque heart. Shave heart on a mandolin or thinly slice with a sharp knife, then place in a bowl of iced water mixed with vinegar and stand to crisp (4-5 minutes). Drain well and combine in a bowl with herbs, bean sprouts, pineapple and shallot. Drizzle with pineapple-chilli dressing, toss to combine and serve scattered with fried shallots and fried chilli prawns.
Note Fried chilli prawns are available from select Asian grocers.