Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Asian-Style Carrot Salad
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Most of us have a recipe for the ubiquitous carrot-raisin slaw tucked somewhere in our kitchen files. I haven't used my copy of the salad in over thirty years. I was never especially fond of it and, as we began to travel, I found other recipes that I thought were far more satisfying. This Asian-style carrot salad is one of my current favorites. There is a tartness to it that plays nicely against sweet barbecued meats and it is a wonderful, easy addition to an Asian-style meal. We had a salad that was quite similar to this while we were in Thailand. This salad, developed by Laurent Tourondel for Food and Wine magazine, is zen-like in its simplicity. Its only ingredients are carrots and cilantro. The dressing, however, takes the salad to another plane. Carrot and ginger juice are teamed with vinegar and a mixture of oils to produce a vibrant dressing that is unique and plays nicely with the sweet and crunchy carrots it is used to dress. I do have a few cautions should you choose to make it. If you can't resist the temptation to use pre-shredded carrots, test to make sure you can get a forkful that doesn't resemble porcupine quills into your mouth. That is a lesson learned from bitter and embarrassing experience of the "we grow too soon old and too late smart" variety. You should also know that the dressing will slightly dull the vibrant color of the carrots. The carrot juice can't quite overcome the mayonnaise in the dressing and the carrots will take on a slightly milky hue. Lastly, don't add the final measure of cilantro until you are ready to serve the salad. Its brilliant green is gorgeous against the orange of the carrots, but if it sits too long it will blacken and add nothing to the finished salad. If I haven't scared you away, here's the recipe for a unique salad that I think you'll enjoy.
Asian-Style Carrot Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Laurent Tourondel
1 pound carrots, peeled and shredded
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup carrot juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon fresh ginger juice, squeezed from 2 teaspoons finely minced ginger
1) Combine carrots, garlic, vinegar, 1/2 cup cilantro and 1/4 cup canola oil in a medium bowl. Toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let carrots stand for 15 minutes. Drain well.
2) Boil carrot juice in a small saucepan set over medium heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Add mayonnaise, sesame oil, ginger juice and reserved 1/4 cup canola oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3) Add dressing and remaining 1/2 cup cilantro to carrots and toss well. Transfer to serving bowl. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
Asian Bean Sprout Salad - One Perfect Bite
Thai Cucumber Salad - One Perfect Bite
Khmer Green Papaya Salad - One Perfect Bite