YIELD: 10 servings
21/2 ozs. peanut oil
21/2 Tbsps. garlic, chopped
3 Tbsps.+11/2 tsps.
Thai fish sauce
5 Tbsps. lime juice
2 each Thai chile peppers, seeded and chopped
61/4 Tbsps. sugar
1 lb., 14 ozs. banana blossom
21/2 Tbsps. lemon juice
11/4 lb. cooked chicken breast or thigh, boned and shredded
1 lb. English cucumber, seeded
5 ozs. red onion, sliced
2 ozs. rau ram
71/2 ozs. peanuts, roasted, salted, chopped
- Cut seeded cucumber into long strips; soak in cold water for 30 minutes and drain. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan over moderate heat until just hot. Stir in garlic and cook until golden (not brown), about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Combine fish sauce, lime juice, chopped chile and sugar. Stir well to dissolve sugar; set aside.
- Trim bottom core of banana blossom and separate leaves. Discard outer 2 to 3 leaves and the tiny bananas inside. Stack the leaves and cut into 1/16th-in. thick slices. Rinse well and place in a bowl of cold water. Stir in the lemon juice and let soak for 20 minutes. Drain and spin dry.
- Combine the banana blossom, chicken, cucumber, red onion, rau ram and crispy garlic in a mixing bowl. Add the sauce and half the peanuts. Toss gently. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with remaining peanuts.
Recipe from Chef Emilio Lopez, University of California, Davis, Sodexho Marriott.