Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Mango Salad
Cellophane Sweet Potato Noodles
I had this salad years ago at a Vietnamese restaurant as a starter with our meal.
It was recommened to me by my girlfriend.
I was never a big fan of Vietnamese food simply because much of that regions food is sweet and hot and those combinations are for braver stomachs!
However this salad is so fragrant and delicious that I couldn't get over it and raved to my friend.
Being of Asian origin she taught me how to make this fresh salad that can be had as a meal when you add noodles to it. Every once in awhile I enjoy making this and everyone in my family loves it because it is very different from our Italian food.
The cutting of the vegetables takes a bit of time to prepare but my mandoline makes this process easier.
For those of you who are not familiar with a mandoline, it is a tool that chefs use to "julienne" vegetables perfectly so that you don't have to spend so much time doing so.
Mine is a very good quality. When I bought it, there was nothing more inexpensive and it has many attachments enabling me to even get a cross cut for waffle fries.
Today they sell them made out of plastic and are  very affordable.
If you do alot of fine cuts, perhaps you would be wise to invest in one.
Many of you may be tempted to put these veggies through the shredder of your processor
You will get a messy mush releasing too much water.
1 green unripe mango, peeled and seeded
1/2 red or green pepper
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
4" piece of english cucumber, peel on but washed
1"-2" piece kohlrabi, peeled*
1 carrot, peeled and ends cut off
1/2 pkg enooki mushrooms, root ends cut off
200-400g pkg cellophane sweet potato noodles
1/4 cup salted peanuts
6 radish leaves, washed
1-2 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
2-3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
3-4 kefir lime leaves, found in an Asian grocery store
2 cloves, garlic peeled and chopped
2"-3" piece of ginger, slivered
1-3 tsp sriracha sauce(Asian Hot Sauce)
Place vinegrette ingredients into a small pot and bring to a boil.  Boil on medium high heat for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Allow to come to room temperature. This can be placed in a  sealed container unstrained and refrigerated for months.
Bring a large pot filled 1/2 way with salted water to a boil. Drop in the noodles and turn the heat off.
Stir to seperate every 5-8 min. The noodle will soften and it will be ready when you taste it for an "al dente" bite. Drain and set aside.
Toast peanuts on medium high in a small skillet. Shaking the pan regularly to colour and bring out the fragrance. Cool and chop. Set aside
Meanwhile using a mandoline:
Julienne the vegetables to a thickness of 1/8" wide and 3"-4" long strips or to your liking. Conversely, if you do not have a mandoline, cut the vegetables with a knife to 1/8" thickness then cut lengthwise giving you slivers or matchstick pieces.
Cut the radishes across their width for variety.
Cut the tomatoes lengthwise.
*Kohlrabe is a wonderful crisp vegetable that has a thick peel. It is pleasant and crispy when eaten raw. It does not have a strong flavour making it easy to add to many dishes or salads.*
Assembly: Place the noodles back into the pot. Toss all of the vegetables onto the noodles except the mushrooms.
With the tonges toss to mix thoroughly. Drizzle desired amount of Vinegrette ontop to taste. Add some salt if necessary. Drizzle with sesame oil, toss to coat.
Sprinkle peanuts and cilantro leaves on top.
Place a radichio leaf on the bottom of the plate and fill with the mixture. Garnish with mushrooms.
Makes 4-8 servings
Enjoy with love!

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