Unlike the purple bulb banana blossom from Hawaii, Mexico and South America that is available and used in the USA, Chef Khai remembers the lovely white, tender banana blossoms he enjoyed in Vietnam. To julienne the banana blossoms, Chef Khai uses the thinnest setting on a Japanese mandolin. It is important to soak the strips in a large bowl of cold water with white vinegar to prevent discoloration.
Peel off and discard the tough, old outer layers (called bracts) of the banana blossom. Use a Japanese mandolin with the thinnest setting and cut into fine julienne strips; immediately plunge into large bowl of cold water and the white vinegar. When ready to prepare the salad, remove the julienne strips and shake off the tiny white buds (chopped up baby buds). Rinse and drain. Squeeze dry of the excess water. Place 4 cups well-packed strips into a bowl. Add the White Vinaigrette and toss for a few seconds. Pour off the excess liquid.
In a separate bowl, toss the shredded chicken with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Add the grapefruit, rau rum, and chili fish sauce and mix together thoroughly.
To serve, mound the salad equally onto 4 separate plates. Top each salad with 1 tablespoon crispy shallot flakes and 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts. Serve immediately.
Yield:About 2 cups
Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Set aside.
Chef Khai's kitchen is stocked with this simple white vinaigrette in large amounts. He uses it as a rinse to rid unwanted raw flavors. It also lightly seasons salad ingredients with a delicate sweet and sour pickled taste.
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This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Khai, Ana Mandara Vietnamese Restaurant, San Francisco, CA
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