Sometimes I feel compelled to eat gratuitous salad. That’s not to say that the salad isn’t delicious, it’s just that I don’t really think of salads as part of an Asian meal. Of course Malaysians have kerabu and the Thais have som tum but they are stand alone dishes. The Japanese often have salads as part of a a complete meal, which is how I started on this path to side salads.
With Asian meals often being quite rice focused, it is nice to have a small side of light salad to complement the main. What you put in your salad is up to you – it can be very coleslaw-like or even a green salad with an Asian twist.
I often have a tupperware of coleslaw mix ready to go in the fridge. I use finely shredded grated cabbage (both green and red), carrots and beetroot. Since everything is washed and ready to go, all I have to do is serve with a side of wafu dressing for Japanese mains, vinaigrette for western style mains or a smidgen of mayo if using in a burger or wrap.
Wafu dressing is the current house favourite. It’s good with tempura, quickly seared tuna tataki or teriyaki chicken.
- ½ grated or finely diced onion, with juice
- 1 tbsp vegetable/sunflower oil
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp Chinkiang vinegar (optional)
- ½ tsp white sugar
- dash of sesame oil or sesame seeds
- ¼ head of a small green cabbage, finely shredded
- ¼ head of a small red cabbage, finely shredded
- 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 small beetroot, peeled and grated, then rinsed to reduce colour running
- 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
- ¼ avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ small red capsicum, thinly sliced
- Combine all ingredients for dressing in a small bowl. Mix until sugar dissolves.
- Prepare salad ingredients and place into small serving bowls.
- Dry leftover salad on a teatowel or in a salad spinner and store in a sealed contained in the fridge.