So you don’t get flowers anymore. So what? Have them for dinner with Pho Republique’s banana-blossom-and-chicken salad. Nestled inside the pretty pink (and edible) banana blossoms is an exotic chicken dish that blends the yin-yang elements of sweet and tangy, crunchy and soft in a sophisticated appetizer with layers of zesty flavor.
First you’ll notice the satisfying crispiness of bean sprouts, garlic, and shallots, mixed together with chicken "matchsticks." Then you’re hit with a bit of tanginess from the Thai fish sauce and basil leaves. Giving things an extra kick are Thai chili peppers, with the lingering smoothness of coconut-ginger dressing to balance things out.
The dish was once a Bangkok specialty made "only for royalty," says chef Victor Sodsook. It’s about time we common folk got a taste of it.
Available for $12 at Pho Republique, 1415 Washington Street, in Boston. Call 617.262.0005.