Posts Tagged ‘Salads’
The laphet tea leaves salad is probably the most popular Burmese dish outside of Myanmar. Thanks to Burma Superstar. Folks have sworn it’s the best salad ever across any cuisine! The reason I am updating my blog tonight is because I had too much of this salad this afternoon, and am now wide awake. The salad does give you a caffeine buzz!
Being in the US, it’s almost impossible to find any Burmese groceries. So sourcing pickled tea leaves is quite the challenge. I even trekked out to Daly City where there is a large Burmese community to try to find the tea leaves only to be disappointed by a small packet of prepared laphet that is both rancid and tasted foully processed. In this recipe, I am using just green tea leaves. Green tea leaves by itself is fermented, although just so slightly. The pickled version starts the same but you leave it to ferment for about a week at room temperature. I actually like the fresh unfermented version better as it tastes more like a salad! You can serve it traditionally where all the ingredients are laid out separately and guests make their own, or just toss them all together.
1/2 cup dried green tea leaves, loosely packed
2 cups cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 cup rice bran oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried lentils or lima beans, soaked 1 hour, drained then pat very dry
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
3 tablespoons peanuts, roasted
3 Tablespoons garlic oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons dried shrimp, soaked in water for 10 minutes and drained, then pounded fine
2 Serrano chilies, minced
1 lime, juice only
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoon fish sauce
Preparing the tea leaves
Pour 4 cups of hot water over the dried tea leaves, stir, and steep 10 minutes. Then drain, pick through the leaves, and discard any tough bits. Squeeze out any remaining liquid from the tea leaves as thoroughly as possible. Next place the tea leaves in lukewarm water and mash with your hands a little. Drain and squeeze out extra liquid. Repeat this rinse once more, then add cold water and let stand for 1 hour. Drain, squeeze thoroughly to remove excess water. Chop the leaves finely.
Mix tea leaves together with cabbage, cilantro, green onions and tomatoes. Set aside.
Preparing the crunchies
Heat oil and add garlic slices and fry till golden. Remove garlic and set aside. Next, add drained lentils, and fry till golden and crunchy.
Prepare the dressing
Mix all dressing ingredients together.
Toss the salad with the dressing and crunchies (garlic slices, lentils, peanuts and sesame seeds) and serve immediately.
Here is another mango salad recipe. A Malaysian Nyonya version. The key flavoring here is belachan. Now, the following paragraph may scare you away from this recipe, but do trust me, once the belachan is roasted and mixed into the sambal, the salad is just absolutely scrumptious! Ask any Malaysian, and they will surely defend the belachan.
Belachan is to Malaysian cooking what fish sauce is to Thai cooking. To get the full, sweet flavor of belachan, buy a block of it, slice it up and dry toast it in a skillet. Just be aware that your neighbors may not be liking it too much! When I lived in Guangzhou about 20 years ago, I toasted some belachan and thought I was smart to leave the windows opened….after all, I was in US consulate housing and I don’t think my neighbors really dig the smell! Before I knew it, every fly in Guangzhou decided to join me in the cooking! After a humourous battle tracking down the flies and shooing them away, I was able to get all but one fly out of the apt. To get the last fly out, I placed my bottle of now sweetly toasted belachan by the window sill. The lone fly decided to come out of hiding and follow the waft of the belachan by the window sill. At that point, I turned on the fan, and off he went out of the window!
Chef’s tip: You can also roast the belachan in an oven. 400F. Chop up the belachan, spread it on a baking sheet and roast about 7 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, break up the pieces further till crumbs form. Return to oven for another 5 minutes. Store leftover roasted belachan in an airtight bottle for future use!
6 Fresno/ red jalapeno chilies
1 Tablespoon belachan, more if desired
2 Tablespoon prepared sambal belachan
3 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoon dried shrimp, soaked
2 Tablespoon dessicated shredded coconut, toasted
2 green mangoes, peeled and shredded
2 shallots, finely sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chiffonaded
- In a food processor, finely grind the red chilies into a paste. Mix with belachan.
- Make kerabu dressing – mix together sambal belachan, lime juice, sugar and salt. Set aside.
- Soak dried shrimp in water until soft. Drain and pound coarsely with a mortar and pestle or pulse with a food processor. Set aside.
- Toast desiccated coconut in a pan till golden brown. Pound coconut lightly. Set aside.
- Shred mangoes, cut shallots into thin slices lengthwise. Slice kaffir lime leaves finely.
- In a large bowl, mix all ingredients with the dressing. Serve immediately.
Note: Mangoes must be green, unriped firm mangoes
This simple, Vietnamese-influenced shrimp salad encompasses the full flavors of hot, sweet, sour and salty. The dressing is really versatile and you can vary the choice of fruit, too – for example, use pomelo, green papaya, even Granny Smith apples, peaches or cantaloupe.
Chef’s tip: To peel soft, ripe fruits like mangoes or peaches, use a serrated peeler. Kent mangoes work well for this salad. To seed it, peel the mango. Then cut off about 1/2 inch off the bottom and it will reveal part of the oval, flat shaped seed. Noting the flat side of the seed from the cut tip, stand the mango on the cut tip, then cut along the flat side of the seed from the top down, applying a slight pressure towards the seed. Repeat with the opposite side. Then carefully slice off both vertical side edges along the seed. To chiffonade herbs, stack several leaves, then roll them tightly into a little cigar. Next, slice through the roll to create thin slices. Fluff the sliced herbs to break up the strands.
3 small Thai red chilies, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar/ brown sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon finely chopped kaffir lime leaves, optional
1 lb medium sized shrimp, shelled, deveined
2 ripe, firm mangoes, peeled, cut into thick juliennes
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup mint, chiffonade
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Preparing the Dressing and topping:
1. Place the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined.
Preparing the shrimp
2. In a pot of salted boiling water, drop in the cleaned shrimp. when shrimp turns pink, remove and immediately plunge into an ice bath. Drain and pat dry.
Preparing the salad
3. Peel mangoes, and remove pit and slice flesh into thick juliennes. Toss mangoes herbs and half the dressing. Set aside.
4. Toss the shrimp with remaining dressing. And place on top of the mangoes.
5. Garnish with pine nuts and cilantro leaves.
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