Banana, Banana blossom, Banana heart, Chicken, Chicken salad, Christina Hendricks, Congee, Cooking, Esquire, Fish sauce, Food, Health, life, Love, Poached chicken, Pork, Pork congee, Rice congee, Scallions, Vietnamese cooking, Vietnamese food
Christina Hendricks once, in Esquire magazine, wrote an open letter giving men 9 tips on love and life with women. Most of the things on the list I can definitely agree with; particularly the point that women love men’s bodies – fat, thin, tall, short… One thing that she blatantly omitted, though, was that size is NOT everything. I know, I know, you’ve heard it before… I’m not referring only to body parts here; but love in general…
Ok, so there will be that group of women whose happiness is positively correlated with the size of the rock that you bestow on her; but – lets take flowers for example. Most women love to receive flowers. But I dare say that most women will raise her eyebrows should you turn up for a date with a bunch of the world’s largest herbaceous flower: the banana plant. Yes, the term banana “tree” is rather a misnomer, as the “tree” is actually a plant. Each banana stem (that part that is mistakenly referred to as the trunk) usually produces one banana blossom (aka banana heart). The banana blossom spawns the banana fruit. The banana blossom is often used in South East Asian cooking. It is tart and I use it for texture rather than flavour: usually in a salad or thrown into sour soup or an eel hotpot.
Despite the temperamental weather this summer, our home garden has done very well in the banana stakes and we’re currently watching our second huge bunch of bananas ripen on the plant.
Meanwhile, I’ve picked the banana blossom and today I made a chicken salad with poached free range chicken and organic home-grown Vietnamese mint (“rau ram”). The bright purple and yellow of the blossom look beautiful against the green and purple of the mint. You can serve the salad on it’s own (with a vinegary fish sauce dressing). Today, I served it with minced pork and scallion congee and a side of chilli and garlic fish sauce.
So, while your date may not be impressed by a banana plant in place of roses, she may forgive you if you turned the banana blossom into a lovely home-cooked meal…after which, she may prove to you that size indeed does not matter
Sending you loving Friday nothings…