Recipe of the Week: Very Spicy Asian Vegetable Salad

When our son asked if he could bring a gang of friends to the cottage for the weekend, I started to search for menu items that would be satisfying for a large group but wouldn’t keep me in the kitchen for the whole day. This recipe works perfectly. You can easily increase the recipe – just chop more (or rope in one of your guests to chop more). Consider this ingredient list as a guideline and you could toss in any fruit or vegetables that are local and seasonal. The recipe calls for cashews, but almonds or peanuts would work just as well. I also briefly sautéed the shiitake mushrooms rather than using them raw, but that is simply a matter of taste. Don’t be frightened by the title of the recipe, you can adjust the spiciness by the amount of chili oil you use – I actually used a hot thai chili sauce and it was delicious. It is suggested as a first course, but you could easily add some noodles and serve it as a light lunch or dinner on a hot day.

Very Spicy Asian Vegetable Salad

  • 1 cup snow peas

  • 6 large bok choy leaves, cut into ¼ inch strips

  • 1 cup shredded napa or Chinese cabbage

  • 4 ounces daikon, peeled and cut into sticks (about 2/3 cup)

  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper cut into strips

  • 2 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal

Topping

  • ¼ cup cashews (optional)
  • 1 small bunch enoki mushrooms

Dressing

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp chili oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • Up to 2 tbsp untoasted sesame oil (or use peanut or vegetable oil)
1. Bring pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add the snow peas and cook for 30 seconds, or until bright green. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Thinly slice on the diagonal. Set aside. 2. Toss together the bok choy and the cabbage and place in the centre or a platter or bowl. Toss together the daikon and yellow pepper and place on top of the cabbage. Top with the snow peas, shiitake mushrooms and scallions. Sprinkle with the cashews, if using. Place the enoki mushrooms in the centre. 3. Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the oils. Serve the dressing on the side. Makes 8 cups; serves 4 to 6 as a first course.

This recipe is taken from Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka. available at ::Amazon

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