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Foreign made banana corn salad

April 10, 2022 10:07 GMT+7

In the garden there are all kinds, which are areca, banana leaves, porcelain bananas, moldy bananas… but my grandmother only likes to use banana seeds to make salad.

In the central markets, it is rare to see a few bananas appear on the vegetable stalls, attracting the eyes of passersby. Looking at the familiar bananas, I immediately remember my grandmother, remember the banana salad that my grandmother made. Not only is it delicious and crispy, it also has the taste of the countryside and the region of childhood memories from outside.

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Early in the morning, my grandmother hid in the banana bushes behind the house, using a sharp sickle to poke a few seeded bananas that had just blossomed. In the garden there are all kinds, which are areca, banana leaves, porcelain bananas, moldy bananas… but my grandmother only likes to use banana seeds to make salad. According to the grandmother, the seed corn is white, crispy and not acrid. And according to oriental medicine, banana seeds are also a good remedy for disease.

With so many uses, when neighbors come over to play or relatives come back from far away, grandma often gives a few banana seeds as a gift from the countryside. From time to time, Grandma keeps a few bananas separately for her aunt or uncle to eat to “have milk for the baby”.

Our kids don’t care much about the miraculous uses of corn kernels, but just want to taste the banana salad, but it must be made by grandma’s own hands.

Initially, Grandma removed most of the outer sheaths, only taking the white inner part to thinly slice. To cut it, put the bananas in a bowl of water mixed with half a teaspoon of salt and fresh lemon juice (so that the bananas don’t darken and retain their crispiness). Foreign soaked for nearly an hour and then took out and rinsed many times with water to clean and dry.

Meanwhile, the grandmother took advantage of the pot of water to boil the pork belly. When the meat is cooked, take it out and let it cool, then cut it and eat it. On the other side of the kitchen, north of the pan, pour peanuts on to roast, flip back and forth quickly. When the peanut shell changes color, Grandma reminds me to sieve the shell and then pound it lightly to break it apart, not crush it.

All the ingredients were prepared, so Grandma started to mix the salad in a big bowl. The banana fiber is poured in first, then the herbs (the ones available in the garden), the mother squeezes 2-3 pieces of lemon to get the natural sour taste. Then came the bacon and finally Grandma sprinkled peanuts on top, when it was on the plate.

The tray of rice that day was very simple with spinach soup, braised anchovies, a bowl of chili garlic sauce and banana seed salad. But for us kids, that was just too good. Picking up a piece of salad with a fatty piece of bacon, a bunch of herbs and a few peanuts interspersed on a piece of baked rice paper, it’s hard for words to describe the deliciousness. Eat a piece is not yet hungry, have to eat a few more pieces.

The flavors of sour, spicy, slightly bitter, crunchy, sweet, fatty, aromatic… blend in a regal way, neither redundant nor lacking, just round in each of the children’s quick bites.

Over time, our childhood was left behind. The banana bush behind the house is still there, but now grandma is like a “ripe banana”. Even though the wind shook really hard, Grandma still tried to hold on and told her grandchildren to be as good as ever. In each of those lessons, sometimes we crave childhood food, like Grandma’s banana seed salad.

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