500 g/1 lb banana blossom
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small tomato, diced
2 tablespoons vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup thick coconut milk
Discard tough outer layers and slice the blossom thinly, first cutting it in two lengthways if it is large. Put the slices in a bowl, sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt, rubbing it well in. Leave for 10-15 minutes, squeeze out juices, rinse under cold water and squeeze dry.
Heat oil in a wok or frying pan and cook onion and garlic until golden brown. Add tomato, stir for 3 minutes, then add banana blossom and vinegar and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as required. Cook until blossom is tender, then stir in coconut milk and remove from heat. Serve with rice.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)