Banana blossoms are available fresh from Asian markets pretty much year-round. Palm sugar adds a lovely sweetness to the dressing.




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  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 1 banana blossom
  • 1 small green papaya, peeled, deseeded then shaved or shredded
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 120 g (4½ oz/1⅓ cups) bean sprouts
  • 2 tsp shaved palm sugar
  • 1 small red chilli, finely sliced
  • 40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp crispy fried shallots
  • small handful of mint, shredded
  • small handful of Vietnamese mint, shredded

Lime and garlic dressing

  • 3 tsp shaved palm sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp vegan fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time: 30 minutes

1. Rub a chopping board and sharp knife with the cut side of the lime. Fill a bowl with water and squeeze the remaining lime juice into the water, to make an acidulated water bath to stop the banana blossom browning.

2. Peel away the outer purple leaves from the banana blossom, until you get to the pale heart. Discard the outer leaves and any partly formed bananas. Shred the blossom heart finely and immediately place in the bowl of acidulated water. Leave to soak for about 30 minutes.

3. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, add 100 ml (3½ fl oz) water and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, combine the papaya, carrot and sprouts. Add the soaked and drained banana blossom and toss with the palm sugar. Set aside for 15 minutes for the mixture to wilt slightly.

5. Add the chilli, half the peanuts and half the fried shallots. Add all the mint. Drizzle with the dressing and toss gently to combine.

6. Pile onto a serving plate, scatter with the remaining peanuts and fried shallots and serve straight away.


Recipe from Eat Plants, Be Happy by Caroline Griffiths and Vicki Valsamis, Smith Street Books, RRP$39.99