Banana blossom salad with tofu skin

Banana blossom salad with tofu skin

The Food of Vietnam
Alan Benson

Tofu skin, also known as bean-curd skin, forms during the process of making tofu. As the soy milk is being boiled, a thin layer forms on the surface. This thin film is collected and dried, creating delightfully textured tofu skin.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 banana blossom
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
80g potato starch or cornflour, for dusting
1 sheet dried tofu skin, sliced into 2 cm lengths
1 handful bean sprouts
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon * fried red asian shallots [rid:8086]
1 handful vietnamese mint leaves
1 long red chilli, julienned


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 bird’s eye chilli, thinly sliced


  1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl with 3 tablespoons warm water. Mix well to dissolve the sugar and set aside.
  2. Add the vinegar to a bowl of water. Peel the outer purple layer of the banana blossom until you reach the pale leaves inside.
  3. Reserve one purple leaf, along with the small young, undeveloped baby bananas. Begin to thinly slice the opaque banana blossom, transferring it to the bowl of vinegar water to stop it discolouring. Soak until ready to assemble the salad, then drain.
  4. Half-fill a wok or deep frying pan with oil and heat to 160°C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns brown in 30–35 seconds.
  5. Dust each baby banana with the potato starch and flash-fry for 2 minutes, or until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  6. Flash-fry the tofu skin until crisp, then drain on paper towels.
  7. Put the sliced banana blossom in a mixing bowl. Add the bean sprouts, fried baby bananas, fried tofu skin (reserving a little to garnish), sesame seeds, fried shallots, Vietnamese mint and 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Toss well.
  8. Place the reserved purple banana leaf into a serving bowl, with the pointy end sticking out. Transfer the salad onto the leaf. Garnish with the reserved tofu skin and the chilli, drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve.
The Food of Vietnam
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