SUZE AND I WERE SITTING AT A STALL IN THE BARBECUE MARKET IN SAPA. WE WERE INVITED BY THE TABLE NEXT TO US TO JOIN THEM; THEY WERE LOCALS FROM HANOI, FEASTING ON TRADITIONAL SAPA DISHES. ONE OF THE DISHES WAS WOK-TOSSED BEEF WITH A STRANGE PALE GREEN VEGETABLE CALLED KOHLRABI. I ASKED ONE OF THE LADIES WHAT THIS SWEET CRUNCHY VEGETABLE WAS. SHE TOOK MY HAND AND WE WENT TO THE MARKETS, WHERE SHE INTRODUCED IT TO ME.
KOHLRABI, MEANING ‘CABBAGE TURNIP, IS IN THE SAME FAMILY AS CABBAGE AND BROCCOLI. WHEN I RETURNED TO SYDNEY, I WENT TO THE MARKETS AND FOUND A LOVELY PURPLE VARIETY. I MADE A FEW DISHES WITH IT AND SERVED IT TO MY PARENTS. THEY TOO HAD NEVER EATEN IT, BUT LOVED IT.
In a large bowl, combine the kohlrabi, carrot, vinegar and sugar. Mix well, then cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 1 hour. Remove from the fridge and drain.
Place a frying pan over high heat, add the oil and fry the garlic until fragrant. Add the beef, season with
In a serving bowl, combine the kohlrabi, carrot, Vietnamese mint, Asian basil, perilla, fried garlic and beef. Dress with Aunty Nine’s salad dressing and garnish with the peanuts and fried shallots.
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