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Friday, November 7, 2008

Asian Bean Sprout Salad



Raw vegetables are rarely eaten in Asia. The greens that so delight us are considered fit for animal but not human consumption. For years raw vegetables were considered unsafe due to the type of fertilizers that were used, and, so, no tradition of eating salads ever developed. Even today green salads can only be found on buffet tables that cater to western and Israeli tourists. While not all vegetables are cooked, they are scalded or blanched before eating. The blanching destroys bacteria and enhances taste and color without destroying texture. Today blanched vegetables are lightly tossed with simple dressings and chilled just long enough for the dressing to impart flavor to the vegetables. The final product is an Asian salad and this recipe is one of my favorites. I love the crunch and flavor of the bean sprouts and the dressing is a wonderful palate cleanser. This is extremely easy to make, but don't skip blanching of the bean sprouts. I know you'll enjoy this.

Asian Bean Sprout Salad

Ingredients:

1 pound blanched bean sprouts (see cook's note)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions + 2 tablespoons sliced green onion tops, divided use
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons drained pimento, divided use
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:
1) Place bean sprouts, 1/2 cup green onion and 1/4 cup pimento in a medium bowl. Toss well to combine.
2) Place garlic, sesame seeds, vinegar, salt, soy sauce and oil in a small bowl.
3) Pour dressing over sprouts and chill for 1 hour or longer.
4) Line a platter with lettuce leaves. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bean sprouts to platter. Garnish with reserved 2 tablespoons pimento and 2 tablespoons green onion tops. Yield: 4 servings.

Cook's Note: To blanch bean sprouts, bring 6 quarts water to a rolling boil. Add bean sprouts, return to the boil and cook for 1 minute. Drain and plunge into cold water. Drain again before using.

9 comments :

Veronica said...

I didn't know that about vegetables in Asia. This sounds like a delicious salad. The photo certainly is beautiful!

City Girl said...

I am so glad you came by to visit my blog :) I have peeked at yours so many times. I love your tone and your background on every recipe. And I *love* that you prepare your palate (and stomach) prior to traveling. What a fabulous idea!

Mary said...

Hi city girl -- I love your blog. And said the grandma beaming broadly - some of mt best friends are lawyers. I hope you come again and again.

Cathy said...

You have three very fine looking young men in your photos Mary. Grandsons? This salad looks so light and refreshing....and tasty.

Mary said...

Veronica, untreated night soil was once used for fertilizing crops in China, hence the hesitation the resistance to raw food.

Cathy, they are my grandsons. We call them the heirs apparent - I hasten to add that a few more bad days in the stock market and all they'll inherit is my undying love.

Allie said...

I've been on a bean sprout kick lately, I'll have to try this.

Deborah said...

I can't imagine not ever eating raw vegetables! But this looks like a great way to get your veggies in!

Peter M said...

From the dishes you've been offering up, I can tel you're giddy with your upcoming Asian tip.

I love beans sprouts but never thought to whip up a salad. This would make a nice, different dish to serve.

Candy said...

Oh my Dad will love this! Thanks

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