Crunchy Radish Salad

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Looking like long, overgrown white carrots, these radishes are a staple in Chinese cookery. I have seen them referred to as icicle radish, Chinese turnip and rettish. In Britain, they are known as mooli or Chinese white radish. They are never eaten raw in China, but I enjoy their crunchy texture, especially in salads such as this. They have a mild peppery taste which is muted by cooking them; in this recipe, they are salted to remove the bite. Once this is done, the radishes lend themselves very well to other spices and seasonings, as in this Chinese dressing of soy sauce, sugar, pepper and sesame oil. Remember that the cool crunchy bite of Chinese radishes works well with Western-type dressings, so do experiment. If you cannot obtain the Chinese version, substitute ordinary radishes but cut them in half to show off their whiteness and expose them to the dressing. (Salting ordinary radishes is optional.)

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Ingredients

  • 350 g (12 oz) Chinese white radish (mooli)
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Dressing

  • ¼ teaspoon roasted Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Method

Cut the radish into 7.5 cm (3 in) long, 5 mm (¼ in) thick pieces. Salt the pieces, toss to mix thoroughly and set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse the radish and pat dry with kitchen paper.

For the dressing, combine all the ingredients and pour over the radish. Mix thoroughly and serve.

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