I was after recipes for the Japanese section of the book, and I cast the net wide to my Japanese friends and family: in Singapore, Japan, USA . They came back with some absolute crackers for me, from recipes to just great suggestions. Of course slightly tweaked by yours truly, but near to the original. One of those follows here.
This salad is just beautiful, slightly acidic but also slightly salty and sweet. The acid can balance out any main dish that may be a little strong tasting or sweet tasting. We had this salad with a simple seared steak I had prepared with a garlic butter sauce. Perfect combination – like Torvill and Dean.
So here comes my cold green stuff from Japan with my version of a Ponzu dressing. This would do a salad big enough for 4 people to support your main meal. For the salad you’ll need:
- 1 lettuce, any will do. Cut off the hard bottom bit and rinse the leaves in cold water
- 2 handfuls of snow pea shoots
- 200g of snap peas.
Place both the snow pea shoots and snap peas in a sieve and pour some boiling water over to blanch them, and then do the same with cold water to refresh the little buggers:
- 1 large handful of lightly chopped watercress
- 3 inches of thinly sliced then halved young ginger
- 4 inches of Chinese white radish (now this can cause a tingly tongue so take the chopped pieces and massage them in your hands with some salt – it draws out the tingles somehow)
- 1 packet of the more English style little red radishes again finely sliced
- 1 avocado halved, deseeded, skinned and finely sliced
- I packet of chives chopped in to inch long toothpicks
For the dressing, get your Ponzu on – yes that is the name of origin for this dressing:
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons mirin (you can pick this up at all Asian delis now)
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Simply place all the salad ingredients in a serving bowl, and pour on the dressing.
Toss lightly, then sprinkle the chives on top.
Serve. Ta Dah that’s that. A thing of beauty!