COLOURFUL CRISPY SINGAPORE SALAD
I was purging stuff from my old room at my parents' place and found a piece of binder paper that had a list of my celebrity crushes from the '90s.
#1 Brian Littrell
#2 Joshua Jackson
#3 Taylor Hanson
#4 Darren Hayes
There were rainbows and stars drawn all over and hearts in place of dots above 'I's.
I thought if I had the list with me at all times, when I inevitably ran into anyone on my list I could show it as evidence and they'd be obligated to date me. At the time, I was positive Taylor Hanson and I belonged together - we both play piano, Scorpios and Pisces are good matches, he was in a band & I wanted to be in a band etc. Very scientific stuff!
Now that I'm all grown up, my crush list is not on boys, because obviously Guinea Pig is the only person on that list. Though (a distant) second is an older gentleman, seafood monger who asks to see my food photos when I buy Halibut!
Fifteen years later, my list consists of my favourite kitchen gadgets and tools. I have such a kitchen crush on the following.
#1 Anova sous-vide
#2 Spiromat spiralizer
#3 Breville sous-chef food processor
#4 Tie - Metal tongs or Rubber silicon scraper
As of 2014, my Spiromat is my most recent addition. It's the best wingman to my mediocre knife skills. It also inspires me to eat more salads, unlike my Kitchen Aid mixer which taunts me daily to bake more with bleached flour & refined sugar.
I prioritize colour over taste when it comes to salad, but luckily, more colour equals more variety and therefore, more delicious. I basically aspire to make my salads look like a Christmas tree in drag. This salad is heavy on the prep side, but really fun to assemble. Full disclaimer: This salad is just a beard for eating fried things...
Pickled red onion, sliced
Fried rice noodles
Purple cabbage, thinly sliced through a mandolin
Fennel, thinly sliced through a mandolin
Kale, lightly baked
Green cabbage or green lettuce, chopped
Red beet, spiralized
Fried parsnip, thinly sliced through a mandolin
Fried sweet potato, julienne
Radish, thinly sliced through a mandolin
Green onion, thinly sliced
Fried garlic, sliced
Mango mint vinaigrette
Sesame seeds, toasted (or Sesame and Nori Sprinkle)
Roasted pumpkin seeds
1. Pickle the red onion by adding equal parts rice vinegar and water, sea salt, pepper, fennel seeds
2. Roast the parsnip, and sweet potato in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. When there are 5 minutes left, put in the chopped kale.
3. Fry the garlic until brown, don't burn or you should re-do it! Break up the rice noodles into small chunks and fry in batches until cooked and crispy. It swells up when you fry it!
4. Assemble by mixing the fennel, green lettuce, and kale on the bottom. Top with a mound of purple cabbage.
5. On the side, put mounds of radish, beet, carrot, sweet potato, parsnip and pickled onions.
6. Top salad with a mountain of fried rice noodles so it's nice and tall.
7. Garnish with pumpkin seeds, fried garlic and toasted sesame seeds.
8. Right before serving, toss with mango mint vinaigrette.
MANGO MINT VINAIGRETTE
1. Blend 1/3 C olive oil, 1 tbsp of sesame oil, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 chopped mango, a bunch of mint and a green onion until smooth.