Sashimi lovers, this one is for you. The combination of meltingly tender ahi tuna with soy and sesame is a dream. And it couldn’t be simpler to make – the key is tracking down a killer piece of tuna that is so fresh, it still wants to slap you in the face with a fin. Ok, maybe not that fresh, but you don’t want to go cheap on this one. The tuna is the absolute star. Continue reading Ahi Tuna Poke
I love this recipe for a multitude of reasons – in true Shakespearean style, let me count the ways…
- In an almost atavistic longing for my childhood, you remind me of the Pickled Broccoli Stems that I could eat in heaps and heaps at the now closed Chinese restaurant, Hsiang Foong, or as we called it, “The Foong”. You were later replaced with El Pollo Rico, another love of mine, but I digress.
- PF Changs sells you for way too much money, but with a bit of change and a few minutes, I can make a far superior version of you in every way.
- You are so friggin’ easy to make.
Make this as a side dish for a dumpling feast, or as an appetizer for your next FU to Chinese takeout, whereby you prepare a fresh meal without all the MSG, overcooked veggies, oversauced meat and stale fortune cookies (fortune and all). Your tummy will thank you.
1 english cucumber (called seedless or hothouse)
2 tbs. of sesame oil
4 tbs. of rice wine vinegar
4 tbs. of water
1 tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of sugar
1 tsp. black sesame seeds
1 tsp. white sesame seeds
dash of chili oil (optional)
Slice your cucumber into thin, 1/4 in. rounds and place in a bowl. Add all other ingredients and stir gently. Let sit in the fridge for 15-20 minutes and then serve.
This salad is inspired by the delicious concoction that my buddy Maureen used to whip up for all of us working at my old job back in the day. Perfectly tangy, crunchy, and sweet – it was probably the most requested item at our potlucks and parties. Remind me to beg her for her recipe sometime.
Right around the time I left for NYC, my aunt gave me a copy of the Junior League of Yakima Cookbook, and lo and behold, they had a version of Maureen’s salad. Their version had a few unusual additions, to include parsley, candied almonds and tabasco. They also used a lettuce blend as opposed to the traditional iceberg.
Fast forward a bit, and out of sheer necessity and chronic cravings for interesting salad options, I came up with the following “hacked” version of the two recipes. I ditched the candied almonds, added some splenda, and used a mix of extra crisp lettuces – frisee became the ace in the hole, adding both crunch and texture. Topping off the whole shebang is a lovely toss of black and white sesame seeds. The bright mix manages to make me grin just at the sight of it. A nourishing enough meal on its own, this salad is also a great accompaniment to slices of Crispy Ginger Chicken.
Sesame Mandarin Salad
6 c. of mixed greens (iceberg, romaine, frisee, green leaf, red leaf)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 c. of celery, diced
1 15oz. can of mandarin orange segments, drained
1/3 c. of sliced almonds
1/4 c. of vegetable oil
4 tbs. of rice wine vinegar
2 packets of splenda (or 4 tsp. of sugar)
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/8 tsp. of white pepper
1 tsp of white sesame seeds
1 tsp of black sesame seeds
In a large salad bowl, toss the greens, scallions, celery, almonds and oranges. Set aside. Mix together in a small bowl the olive oil, rice wine vinegar, splenda, salt and white pepper. Pour the dressing on the sides of the salad bowl (a Thomas Keller trick to perfectly saturate each green with an even amount of dressing) and toss. Top the salad with the sesame seeds. Serve to deserving lovelies.