East — West Shredded Salad

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Raw or almost raw vegetables are enjoyed in most countries, both East and West, but not in Asia, and particularly not in China where they are usually at least stir-fried, blanched or pickled. I enjoy raw vegetables, thus showing my Western culinary influences, but I understand the Chinese preference also. Hence, this East-West compromise: delicious, fresh raw vegetables covered with a heated zesty Chinese-inspired sauce that coats the salad. The result pleases both eye and palate, and creates a refreshing salad for any meal.

Ingredients

  • 100 g (4 oz) carrots
  • 25 g (1 oz) fresh chillies (optional)
  • 4 spring onions
  • 225 g (8 oz) iceberg lettuce
  • 50 g (2 oz) bean sprouts

Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 dried chillies, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • ½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, roasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese white rice
  • vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons oil, preferably groundnut
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Method

Peel and cut the carrots into 5 cm (2 in) fine shreds. Cut the chillies, spring onions and lettuce into 5 cm (2 in) fine shreds. In a large bowl, mix all the vegetables together.

Combine all the dressing ingredients, except the oils, in a heatproof bowl. Heat the oil in a small saucepan or wok until almost smoking. Pour the hot oils over the dressing ingredients and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss thoroughly. Serve at once.

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