I'm experiencing an exciting new juncture in my life with my debut novel. A true "Salad Days", as I'm so green and so thrilled by every aspect of the publication journey. In my thrall to editing and writing, cooking (and a bunch of other stuff) has gone by the wayside.
|"Asian Summer Salad"|
Luckily, it's summer weather here in the south. I don't know why, but cooking feels simpler in the summer. Grilling. Salads. Food held by buns. Maybe it feels easier because I have a partner who takes over outdoor cooking (inside he suffers from Male Refrigerator Blindness), and I can delegate more. I get homemade pulled pork in good weather.
I like good weather.
|Soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar |
& sesame oil
There are several Japanese vinegar and soy based dressings that go well with cold meat and veggies. This one is based on a Sanbaizu (3 flavor dressing) but I add a fourth ingredient for extra yumminess: sesame oil.
Asian Summer Salad
|My Japanese slicer|
Red or Sweet Onion
And/Or any other veggie that can be eaten raw and thinly sliced (e.g. yellow squash)
Peel and Seed appropriately. Slice all thinly. Super thin if you can. Like 1/16" or 1/4 centimeter. Mix with Sanbaizu +1 dressing. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Sanbaizu Dressing + 1
I love ratio dressings. Mainly because I hate dividing. This is great on all kinds of salads. We love it on cold meat, too.
|Big sister using|
grinder over salad
Mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
5:5:3 (5 parts vinegar & soy sauce; 1 part mirin)
Combine, bring to a boil, and cool. A quick boil smoothes the vinegar. In a pinch you can make it without boiling.
+ 1 sesame oil (add after boiling to the 5:5:3).
I have found Aji sesame oil (with added chili pepper) gives it a nice kick, but can be too spicy for my kids. Be sure you keep the 5:5:3:1 ratio. Sesame oil is really strong!
|Our sesame seed grinder|
Instead of sprinkling the sesame seeds over the salad, I use the grinder. It gives the salad an even nuttier flavor.
Hope you enjoy! And here's to summer, where ever you may be.
Do you have any great summer recipes inspired by your host country that you'd like to share? Tell me in the comment section. I'd love to share your recipe on the blog!
And thank you to the Japan Blog Directory (by Nihon Ichiban) for adding The ExPat Returneth to your directory! Arigato Gozaimashita!