Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sichuan Slaw

One of my favorite things to do every day is to read the NY Times, and in particular their Dining and Wine section (Under Style -ya!) Bittman is a huge favorite of mine and I love his no-nonsense, healthy, foodie column. So, when he spoke about 101 salads for this summer, I knew I'd find something there. I'm not a salad person. And being an Indian, the first time I saw people grappling at leaves with their forks, I was quite amused :) I tried it myself only to hate it. All because I thought you need a lot of the dressing to make up for the leaves. And all this snobbery when I'm a vegetarian. But now, I'm a convert. Some salads can be tasty. Especially when the dressing does not overpower the actual flavour of the ingredients! Like the Sichuan Slaw. Salad no. 6. As long as it is evil to my hips, even partially ;)

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May I say that this salad was as good as great, trashy Chinese take-out that we so enjoy on those depressing nights? Now, I totally understand texture, the amount of dressing to be made, the punch of flavour in soy sauce...the toastiness of the sesame oil. If I'm waxing about the salad so poetically or like a food connoisseur (which I'm not), you can imagine how good it is. As I write this, my mouth waters! I can eat this salad through the year and not complain. The sprouts are crunchy and fresh, the carrots lend the sweetness along with honey in the dressing, the green chillies satisfy my Indian tongue and the peanuts are just the icing on the cake with the sesame oil rounding it all up to create a fantastic feeling in the mouth. Indians will identify the texture to be like a good road-side chaat!

The ingredient list is not measured. I threw in things together, much like the way Bittman's described it. So, please adjust seasonings and the components of the salad per your taste. We all have these ingredients, and trust me, nothing is simpler.

Ingredients

Sprouts - They are the basis of this salad, so use fresh ones and I used around 2 cups
Carrots - Grated or shredded. I grated one carrot
Peanuts - a handful
Cilantro - 1/3 cup - Do add them, because it does magic visually.
Mint - 1 or 2 sprigs, finely chopped
Celery (acc. to Bittman's recipe. But I didn't have it, so didn't add this)

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For the dressing:

3-4 green chillies, minced.
Ginger - grated - 1/4 tsp or so ( My addition to the original recipe)
Lemon juice - Per your taste. I used more than a tbsp
Soy Sauce - I used about one tbsp
Sesame oil - 1-2 tbsp
Honey - Just enough to take away the searing heat of the green chillies ( Bittman says to add sugar. I chose to add honey)
Basil (Bittman recommends all the three herbs - basil, cilantro and mint) However, I didn't have any, so didn't add any!
Salt - Per taste

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1. Pile all your ingredients in your salad bowl. There's no major chopping really, apart from the carrots, and maybe shelling of peanuts.

2. Make the dressing: Mix all the ingredients and make sure to taste it. If it turns out to be too spicy (I used a lot of green chillies for the amount of dressing), go ahead and add some more honey. I also added some extra soy sauce and sesame oil to increase the amount. So, its totally upto you.

3. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Eat!

Other additions that I thought could make this better were, maybe some roasted garlic? Or, even, some garlic chips sorta thing? Shredded tofu or marinated tofu, made crisp by pan frying or baking? Noodles may be great too! What else do you think can go into this salad? I intend to make this again and I'd love to hear you give your suggestions on this.

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I'm actually considering trying out every vegan/vegetarian salad in this list except for a few with a couple of veggies I hate! With an aim to shed some pounds, I love the idea of following a list like this (keeps me sane!) and certainly helps in planning out a meal. The last thing you want to do when you are on a diet is constantly think of what to eat - something that won't pile on the pounds! So, this list works fantastically well in planning my grocery trips. And most of the ingredients are so easily available and almost always stocked at home. So, you don't have to buy dressings, or any expensive, extra ingredients!

I found out through Twitter that Kellypea of Sass And Veracity is doing the same exercise. Go figure out the fun she's having with all the salads. For all you non vegetarians - she is planning to cover all the 101 and the salads sure do look pretty there! :)

So, please do yourself a favour and make this and let your taste buds tell your hips who the boss really is! ;)

52 comments:

SJ said...

bookmarked! Will be making it with sautéed tofu mmmmm....

Vani said...

Can't go wrong with that dressing! Looks great!

Prathibha said...

adding soyasauce to the dressing has caught my attention dear..will add next time to my usual sprouts salad..and I m sure peanuts would hv added speical crunch to it..

Donna-FFW said...

That sounds like a wonderful choice. And the dressing .amazing.

Nags said...

adding tofu will be awesome, i agree (with SJ for once!). so cool you are back to the blogging world !

burpandslurp said...

oh my god...HANDS DOWN this is the best coleslaw I have ever seen yet!

Arch said...

This looks lovely..I made something like this, had a lot of noodles in it, it wasnt really meant to be a salad, but had almost all these ingredients, with some shredded cabbage and a little more soy sauce and a spoon of vinegar...

Priya said...

Wow wat a refreshing and colourful salad, i love the sauce specially if they are prepared with soya sauce!

Sush said...

I will try this for sure.., this looks great.., I might try it with cucumber or lettuce as I am not a great fan of raw sprouts :D

Chitra said...

Can add capsicum but very little..Gives a flavor:) salad looks yumm and healthy:)

Bharathy said...

I have just got to say this...a Lovely, Refreshing salad!!!,, :)

Kitchen Flavours said...

As the name says.....it looks really refreshing.....colorful too...

Soma said...

I love the bittman guy;-) that salad is a perfect summer salad. i wonder how cilantro, basil & mint will taste together.. i have all three, have to give it a try sometimes.

Ingrid said...

I gotta say I'm a salad eater from waaaaay back and back before eating salad as a meal was the norm. As of yet I haven't met a salad I didn't really like. Best thing about salad is that it is easily adaptable to what you like or don't like.
~ingrid

Bianca said...

I need to check out that list of salads. I often fall into a salad rut where I put whatever veggies I have on hand with some lettuce and dressing. I love the idea of a salad recipe!

Cakelaw said...

I love the Dining&Wine section of the NY Times too - I have bookmarked so many recipes that I don't know when I will get time to make them. This is a luscious looking salad - perfect for summer!

aTxVegn said...

I think the 101 salads list is fabulous and this salad you made looks fantastic. Sprouts, cilantro, peanuts, chillies are all my favorites - yum!

Jaime said...

looks delicious! i love the flavors of this dish.

workout routine? what workout routine? :P it includes whisking every once a while - does that count? :)

Jacqueline said...

Now my mouth is watering too! That sounds so good with that tasty dressing and the crunch of peanuts! *drool*

Usha said...

This salad sounds like a winner...definitely a must try !

Elle said...

Great looking salad and it is always nice when you have the ingredients on hand to make the dressing instead of using store bought. Fantastic flavors in this salad!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a wonderful recipe! That dish looks so flavorful and refreshing!

Cheers,

Rosa

Lisa said...

Hey guys, great to have you back! How was your visit with the relatives?

that said, I've seen many doing this Mark Bittman salad recipe thingy, and I just might try a few myself, esp;ecially after seeing your 'svrummy' salad. Man, that looks awesome!

Finally, if we don't beat the Red Sox this weekend, I will be extremely disgusted. Three out of four at the least! Then we need to beat those damn Angels for once!!!

Sakshi said...

You said it right it looks like an Umreekan Chat to me and am all for it. Sounds yummy and maybe I will add generous drops of Nakano's Roasted Garlic Vinegar. I am addicted to that flavour.

Natashya said...

I love this kind of salad, looks delish!

PG said...

very tempting. I saw it too. I didn't think of trying them out yet. You are tempting me to. Looks lovely!

SJ said...

U guys need to change that gobi manchurian recipe of yours. 1 gobi is definitely not enough for 2, there are 4-5 pieces left for J. Most probably he will eat his rotis with sugar tonight! It was awesome!

miss v said...

i love salads - especially creative takes on the old lettuce and tomatoes. this looks delectable!

Hannah said...

What a nice, refreshing side dish for these hot summer days!

Red Chillies said...

The dressing itself is to die for and that along with peanuts and veggies form a great combination.

Susan said...

So good, easy and bracing. Love those shots from the top.

Cynthia said...

I too love Bittman and that is a mighty fine salad.

Vibaas said...

that looks so colorful and yum!

Shwetha said...

Lovely blog and great recipes and pictures. the strawberries look great. and ohh you guys make such a cute couple like Laurel and Hardy ;)

Hannah said...

What a perfect summer salad! I'm all over this one- I may even try it out tomorrow. Thanks for sharing! :)

Bong Mom said...

That dressing would make any bovine salad great

Aparna said...

Good to see another post here, and yes this is my type of salad too. :)
I still have problems with slads that have "leaves" in them. My daughter refuses to touch them saying "I'm not a cow"! I guess its just that we rarely ate raw vegetables while growing up, despite being vegetarian.

Bhawna said...

Hi A&N, like you said, even i'm not a salad person. But reading ur post i'm motivated to try and make one. Do u have any recipe to motivate husbands and bring them to salad diets....hahahah

Sig said...

I love salads, the only healthy food that I really love I think :) Remember seeing the article and thinking I've got to try some of these. Good luck with getting through the list :)

Dee said...

now my mouth watering! I love thai salads. Good luck with your list !

Karine said...

It seems to be such a refreshing salad! Thanks for sharing your recipe! :)

Vaishali said...

I love reading Bittman's recipes too and I'm not a big salad fan either, but this one would definitely convert me! It looks vibrant and colorful and healthy.

♥Rosie♥ said...

What a gorgeous salad and dressing, my mouth is watering here...

Dhanggit said...

OMG this looks delectably delicious!! I love watching news while my little girk plays close to me :-)

A_and_N said...

Thanks everyone. A tooth ache has prevented my making salads for sometime now. :|

TBC said...

I too have bookmarked Bittman's 101summer salads. Summer's almost over and I've not even started.:)

I like your dressing.

Alanna said...

I was inspired by 101 Salads too, though it hasn't yet moved me out of my lettuce & vinaigrette rut. But now you're inspiring me too!

Mandira said...

I saw that too and this was the salad I was eyeing too :) Looks fantastic!

Dibs said...

pass me a bowl rigt now!!!

Uj said...

I am planning to make this tonight.. looks yummy and divine

Ciber said...

I've been following your blog for quite a while and enjoying your wealth of good recipes. When Foodista announced that they are going to publish the best food blogs in a full color book that will be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing Fall 2010, I naturally thought of you. This recipe would be a good submission! You can enter here: http://www.foodista.com/blogbook/submit

Cheers,
Melissa

melissa@foodista.com
Editor and Community Developer
Foodista.com -- The Cooking Encyclopedia Everyone Can Edit

Janice said...

Wow!thanks for sharing this recipe!this is absolutely healthy!can't wait to try this to my family.