Posts Tagged ‘salad’

* Calamari and Pomelo Salad

Posted on August 21st, 2012 by Linda. Filed under Cuisine, Fish sauce, Pomelo, Salads, Sides.

 Calamari and Pomelo Salad


Another yummy Vietnamese salad – this one is updated with the use of olive oil that blends well with the fruitiness of the pomelo.  My friend, Mai, gave me the original recipe during my bridal shower where I requested for a favorite recipe contribution.  I added the crispy shallots, shallot oil and crank up the herbs – kaffir and rau ram – to make the dressing a little more complex, and poached the calamari instead of sauteing them.  I grow my own kaffir and rau ram…..surprisingly they grow well in San Francisco 217 feet above ground.

Chef’s tip:
Poaching the calamari in hot water (removed from heat) just cooks the calamari without making it rubbery.

1 small Thai red chilies, finely chopped (1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper for less spicy version)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup EVOO
1/4 cup shallot oil
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/3 cup palm sugar/ brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Zest from 1 lime
1 teaspoon kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped

3 shallots, sliced finely lengthwise
1/2 cup rice bran oil
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
Handful cilantro leaves

2 lb  fresh calamari, cleaned, scored
2 pomelos, peeled of skin and membranes
1 cup  cilantro, leaves coarsely chopped, stems finely chopped
1 cup basil leaves,  chiffonade into thick ribbons
½ cup mint, chiffonade thinly
½ cup Rau Ram – polygonum (Vietnamese Mint), chiffonade thinly
½ cup green onions, sliced thinly lengthwise 2 inch

Preparing the Dressing and crisp shallot topping:
1. Place the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined.
2. Make the shallot oil.  Place shallot in cold oil and start to heat on medium.  When shallots are nicely bubbling, bring heat to medium high till light golden brown.  Remove from heat immediately.  Separate the crisp shallot from oil.

Preparing the calamari
3. Wash and clean the calamari.  Slit the squid open.  Lightly score the squid with a criss-cross pattern.  The cut the squid into 2 pieces.  Bring a pot of salted water to boil.  Drop in calamari and remove from ehat immediately.  When calamari just turns white, remove immediately and p;unge in an ice bath.  Drain and pat dry. 

Preparing the salad
4. Peel pomelo and separate sac flesh into bite size chunks.  Toss pomelo with herbs and half the dressing.  Set aside.
5. Toss the cooled calamari with remaining dressing.  And place on top of the pomelo.
6. Garnish with crisp shallots, peanuts and cilantro leaves

Serves: 6

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* Tofu Parsley Salad On Aromatic Forbidden Rice, With Orange-Marinated Lotus

Posted on July 18th, 2012 by Linda. Filed under Californian, Entree, Lotus Roots, Salads, tofu, vegan.

This was one of the first recipes I developed on my quest for contemporary tofu flavors at Hodo Soy.  Sweet, salty and tangy Hodo tofu, parsley and cilantro salad with Sichuan peppercorn and sesame overtones, and accentuated with golden Californian raisins and toasted pine nuts.  Served with nutty and aromatic Lotus Forbidden Rice and crunchy orange-ginger marinated lotus root disks.  So yummy, and beautiful, too.  We have even served it as an appetizer on a piece of Endive.

Chef’s tip: When slicing lotus roots, place cut pieces in acidic water (water with lemon juice or vinegar) to prevent it from oxidizing.


1 Tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
½ Tablespoon kosher salt
A pinch white pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 Tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn oil

1 bunch flat leaf Italian parsley, stems removed
½ bunch cilantro leaves
2 stalks green onions, green parts only

1 lb firm tofu, drained?, crumbled
½ cup golden or Hunza raisins
2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

1.     Whisk dressing ingredients together.  Set aside.
2.     Finely chop the herbs.  Use a food processor if desired.
3.     Crumble tofu –  place in a food processor and give it a couple of pulse, being careful not to turn tofu into a paste.
4. Chop raisins roughly.
5.     Toss tofu, raisins and herbs with dressing.  Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.  Garnish with toasted pine nuts.

2 cups rice
6 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 sachet aromatics

2 Tablespoons tamari
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar

  1. Bring rice, water, sachet and salt to boil.
  2. Then cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  3. Whisk together sauce and add to rice after 30 minutes.  Make sure all liquid is absorbed, otherwise, continue to simmer on low until all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Fluff and cool.


Aromatic sachet:
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 whole star anise
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn
1 cinnamon stick
Cheese cloth with kitchen twine


1 6 inch segment lotus roots, about 3 lbs
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 Tablespoons grated ginger
1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar

  1. Slice lotus to 1/8 inch thick slices and submerge in acidic water.
  2. Let sit 5 minutes, then rinse several times.  Drain.
  3. Bring juices, ginger and salt and sugar to boil.
  4. Add lotus slices.  Bring back to boil and remove from heat.
  5. Let marinate at least 2 hours.

Serves: 6

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* Som Tum – Green Papaya Salad

Posted on April 24th, 2010 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Cilantro, Cuisine, Peanuts, Salads, Thai.

I haven’t spent as much time eating/standing/awake in Bangkok as I would like to — during my many trips there when I worked in corporate in Asia, I was either stuck in a conference room, or if there were any free hours, getting heavenly massages at the many wonderful spas there!  My company put us up at the Westin Banyan Tree which has an amazing spa and a wonderful buffet dinner spread (yeah, buffets are pretty popular higher end dining in Asia) and I loved walking into the buffet lounge lobby smelling the lemongrass incense and hearing the soft pounding sound of Som Tum being prepared.  The green papaya station is always my first stop at the buffet.  Ah, Sawadee!

Chef’s tip:  Green papayas are essentially unriped papayas.  You can get them at Asian food stores.  They often times wrap it in newspaper to prevent it from ripening.  Other finer points: “Som Tum Thai” has peanuts and dried shrimp mixed in, “Som Tum Bu” has small pickled crabs pounded in, or “Som Tum Lao Sai Pla Ra” has fermented mud fish mixed in it.


4 Tablespoons fish sauce
4 Tablespoons palm sugar/ brown sugar
4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon tamarind concentrate


1 green papaya, peeled – yields 4 cups shredded
2 roma tomatoes – yields 1 cup of sliced roma tomatoes or 1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 handful Chinese string/long beans (or baby haricot vert) – yields 1 cup
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2-4 small Thai red chilies, deseeded, finely sliced – number depending on heat level
2 Tablespoons dried shrimp – presoaked in water
1 shallot, peeled, sliced
½ cup peanuts, roasted

1 cup cilantro leaves

To prepare the dressing
1. Mix together dressing ingredients.  Taste.  Adjust if needed. Set aside.

To prepare the vegetables:
2. Using a food processor (medium grate) or grater, shred the green papaya flesh
3. Deseed the tomato and cut into long slivers (or if using cherry tomatoes, half them)
4. Cut the beans into 1 ½ inch lengths.  Blanch in hot water for 3 minutes or until bright green and quickly plunge into cold water.  Drain.

Assembling – make per serving.  Divide ingredients into 6 parts.
5. In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, chili and dried shrimp into a paste
6. Add the sliced shallots and pound slightly to bruise the shallots
7. Add the long beans and pound to bruise the beans.
8. Add the peanuts and lightly pound again to crush the nuts
9. Add the shredded papayas and lightly pound until it is limp and soft
10. Add sliced tomatoes and press gently to blend
11. Add dressing and toss to combine.  Garnish with cilantro.
12. Serve immediately.  Repeat per serving.

Serves: 8

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