Lunchbox: Amansala Ginger Salad

I've been hooked on the idea of ginger salads since my boss took me to Rangoon to celebrate my acceptance to grad school. She's a decided foodie, and knows all the great spots in the city I've never even heard of, and knows the owners from way back. So while I chimed in on going for the lentil fritters and the pork in pickled mango curry sauce, when she said we simply had to get the tea leaf salad and the ginger salad, both of which Rangoon is well-known for, I trusted her judgment. Both were excellent - similar ingredients, but the tea leaves had a distinct earthy sort of flavor, while the ginger salad was lighter and spunky without the searing taste fresh ginger sometimes has.
Me being me, I wanted to find some way to recreate those delicious dishes, and a few weeks later I noted a recipe on epicurious that sounded a similar base to what I'd had. I tried finding pickled tea leaves to make it even better, but as of yet no luck either finding them or figuring out how to explain what I'm looking for, and it seems the pickling method is a bit involved. Happily, the ginger component - and really, the tea leaves were novel but the ginger just plain tasty - is easy enough to do in home with a bit of patience and makes a great substitute. With a bit of tweaking it comes close to the flavors I enjoyed there. I'm sure some dried shrimp paste or fish sauce would aid in the
authenticity, but I decided to go with the dressing epi posted, and it's really wonderful all on its own.
What I love best about this recipe, in addition to the flavor, is that it's listed for one. This is an uncommon feature among most recipes, sadly even my own, but is great for the lunchbox not only so you know the portion you're doling out but so that it's easy to make fresh and quick each night before. If you can find pre-shredded carrots, you'll save yourself a few minutes, but otherwise the components are simple to prepare.
This summer salad is also as far as I can tell nutritious, picking up points for the lunchbox.
This is one of my new favorite salads, and also a contribution to Salad Stravaganza, an event by Lis of La Mia Cucina to gather a new salad repertoire.

adapted from Bikini Bootcamp via epicurious

salad for one
1 c shredded Napa cabbage
1 c shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 c shredded carrots
5-6 cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 avocado
3-4 ounces shredded cooked chicken
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 T toasted sesame seeds
10 cocktail peanuts or to taste
1-2 tsp pickled ginger strands

1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 balsamic vinegar
2 T low sodium soy sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 Tbsp palm sugar, brown sugar, or honey
2 Tbsp peeled minced ginger
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp water

ginger, from New Asian Cuisine
3 ounces fresh young ginger
1/2 c lime juice

Combine cabbage, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, avocado and chicken in a large bowl. Toss with dressing to taste. Sprinkle with scallion, sesame seeds, peanuts, and pickled ginger strands.
To make the dressing: Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
To make the ginger: Peel and shred the ginger (the large holes on a box grater work best for this; you want it in shreds rather than grated) and place in a small bowl or a tupperware container you don't mind contaminating with ginger smell. Cover with the lime juice and marinate in the refrigerator for at least three days. Squeeze the shreds from the juice and discard the lime juice. Keeps no more than one week, covered in the refrigerator.


Blogger Lis said...

'kay I just got home from dinner out with Hubbs and my mommie.. I WAS stuffed. You've managed to make me hungry again! No kidding.

This salad sounds superb! It has everything I love in it and I am all about Asian flavors.. YUM!

I can't wait to go see the next one! hehee!

Thank you sooooo much for submitting this! Yay!


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