- 1 (about 800 g) banana blossom (see Note)
- 20 g (¼ cup) desiccated coconut
- 150 ml coconut milk
- 150 g green prawns, peeled, cleaned, half the shells reserved
- 3 tsp lime or lemon juice
- 4 red Asian eschalots, thinly sliced
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp dried shrimp paste (belacan) (see Note)
- 5 long red chillies, sliced
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.
To make sambal belacan, fry shrimp paste in a wok, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until dry and crumbly. Using a mortar and pestle, grind chillies and shrimp paste to a smooth paste. Set aside.
Peel and discard outer banana blossom layers until you reach soft white core, discarding immature bananas. Halve lengthwise. Blanch in boiling, salted water for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain and lightly squeeze to remove excess water. Thinly slice and set aside.
Toast coconut in a wok over low heat for 3 minutes or until light golden. Using a mortar and pestle, lightly grind coconut. Set aside.
Place coconut milk, 100 ml water and ¼ tsp salt in a wok and bring to the boil. Add reserved prawn shells and cook for 2 minutes or until they turn pink. Strain mixture into a clean pan, discarding shells. Return to the boil, add prawns and simmer for 3 minutes or until just cooked. Set aside until lukewarm.
Add lime juice and the sambal belacan to prawns and stir to combine. Add sliced banana blossom, eschalots, toasted coconut and sliced lime leaves, and stir to combine. Transfer to a plate to serve.
Banana blossoms and dried shrimp paste are available from Asian food shops and selected greengrocers.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 12, pg55.
Photography by Chris Chen