Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cold Front

Chinese Bean Thread Salad

_DSC2055It seems as though Thanksgiving was rushed and now we’re officially allowed to turn on the Christmas Machine! Not that I hate Christmas…just not as thrilling as when we were young parents…wrapping presents late on the night of Christmas Eve, rushing to get one more stocking stuffer or batteries, the giggles or joyous looks of our children on Christmas morning, that is the sort of thing I am nostalgic about. Now that I’m older and wiser I’m telling my husband lately that All I want for Christmas is you in a singing format. However I’m not going to deny him the joy of giving. Ooh ! I love surprises!

I don’t want a lot for Christmas, There is just one thing I need… make my wish come true…

After consuming an alarming volume of rich food last week. I made a refreshing light salad which I can prepare in flash (not really). I love the kick from  doubanjiang, a spicy fermented paste and the nice acidity of the dressing. Omit a few ingredients and this could serve as vegan as well as gluten free._DSC2042

Ingredients and instruction for 4 servings_DSC2010

  • White toasted sesame seeds 1 Tablespoon
  • Black toasted sesame seeds 1 Tablespoon
  • Sesame Oil 1 Tablespoon
  • Soy sauce or tamari soy sauce for gluten free dish 1 Tablespoon
  • Rice vinegar 1 Tablespoon
  • Oyster sauce 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Doubanjiang (豆板醤) 1/2 teaspoon
  • Crown daisy (春菊) 2-3 stems. Wash well. cut off tough ends of stem.
  • Bacon 3 strips.
  • Bean thread 1 bundle or 30g
  • Pine nuts 3-4 Tablespoons lightly toasted.
  1. Make dressing first: Combine both sesame seeds*, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar and oyster sauce in large bowl. Taste the dressing and adjust to your taste. Chill in refrigerator until needed. _DSC2027
    * If the sesame seeds are not toasted, toast in a non-stick pan for 1-2 minutes, move the sesame seeds rapidly so as to not burn it._DSC2026
  2. Ready an ice bath in a large bowl. Boil Crown Daisy for 20 seconds and immediately immerse in prepared icy water. Gently squeeze  to remove water then pat dry with a paper towel and roughly chop. Set aside. Note: Fresh crown daisy is quite bitter in my opinion though there is option of not boiling it for a more crunchy bite, just wash well and dry. Cut off hard end.
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  3. Place bacon on top of a layer of 2-3 paper towels. Cover with 1 sheet of paper towel and microwave for 2 to 2-1/2 minutes on high till crispy. Cut up in half inch strips.Set aside.
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  4. Prepare very hot water in a bowl and soak bean threads for 8 minutes or so to soften. Drain well and cut in a  tic-tock grid. Set aside._DSC2019
  5. Toast pine nuts till golden.
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  6. Whisk chilled dressing with fork to mix well. Add Crown Daisy, bacon, toasted pine nuts and bean thread and toss the ingredients until well coated with dressing.

Vegan spinach version – No need to boil spinach.Omit bacon and oyster sauce (I used ketchup in its place).IMG_0704

See isn’t that easy?

Different looks - I had lotus roots. I deep fried it for garnish. Pushed the salad in the round mold then I made a slit for place to lotus roots to go in.
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We ended up going to ‘Higgins’ for Thanksgiving. Although we did not have a reservation, the host escorted us to the bar/lounge area right away. We had same five course Thanksgiving meal as the main restaurant just at the counter. Well, that was different. We had a nice chat with people sitting next to us. IMG_0672

Pumpkin bisque was excellent.IMG_0668So was everything else. We just couldn’t eat another bite so we took our dessert home. We passed on the traditional pumpkin pie and Apple pie and instead selected Hazelnut cheese cake and double chocolate cake. IMG_0674IMG_0673

We parked our car front of Samurai, I mean Portland Art MuseumSamurai exhibit is on right now. Cool, Right?IMG_0666

Driving a rural road and saw this corn field. Looks like the stalks are bowing down for coming of Winter General (冬将軍). Day’s low temperature in mid 20’s is awfully cold for Portland.IMG_0681

Wishing you a nice cozy, warm, hot chocolate kind of day!

26 comments:

  1. Nice to meet you dear! I love japanese and chines food, just yesterday I was thinking in make something with sesame:) Im following you!

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  2. I love your salad ... oh so creatively cute! I have to challenge myself to come up with something similar:) May all you wishES come true:) and much much more! and...Don't forget to forward your blog post to your husband for this;) Enjoy your day too!

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    1. Thank you Anna. Ha ha ha he knows it...I hope.

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  3. I love bean tread. It is delicious, light and incredibly versatile. I never try it this way. Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. Thank you very much. I love this salad. I hope you try it!

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  4. Bean thread, is it glass noodles? Love your salad. Must try. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I think so. I use bean thread in hot pot often.

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  5. あけみちゃん おいしそうなサラダですね。
    この季節に 冷たいサラダの紹介とは 新鮮で、フェイント一本!
    今度作ってみたいです。豆板醤でちょっとピリッときていつもと違う味になりそう。おいしそうです。レンコンっておもしろいね。もちもちになったりしゃきしゃきになったり食感も変わるし、見た目もユーモラス。

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    1. ありがとう!簡単でさっと作れるところがいいと思います。

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  6. Well, how nice does that look?! I have such problems... if I eat a lot of rich food, suddenly all I want to eat is salad, covered in "zing" flavours, like lemon juice, raw garlic... like I want to flush out all the grease from my body. It happens a lot at this time of year - all the rich Christmas food... meat, starch, carbs... looking forward to spring!

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    1. Thank you Charles. Your 'bachkoutou' looks great. I wish I have that right now with my herb tea.

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  7. A beautiful salad! My kind of dish. I love everything about your salad.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Thank you so much Rosa. You're so kind.

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  8. めちゃくちゃきれい!!!!さすが明美さん、一味違うお料理の飾り方。とっても勉強になります!ちょうど春菊あってどうしようかと思ったとこ。このメニューはいい案ですね!

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    1. ありがとう!本の出版おめでとう!もうかってまっかー? いつか会えたら、奢ってね、ははは。

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  9. It looks like it's recently been noodle time in your hoouse too! Youki is our favourite tobanjan brand (I have brought... 8 tubs & jars from Japan in October and we have already eaten half of them... next time I'll bring 20). Needless to say, your salad looks fabulous. I love every single ingredient!
    You know I actually often prefer to eat at the counter rather than at the table (especially since I hate making reservations ahead... it spoils the surprise, the adventure...). I often find bartenders much nicer, cooler and more talkative than waiters, plus you can talk to people around you, you get drinks quicker and... the atmosphere can be fantastic while it's boring at the tables.

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    1. Thank you Sissi! What? 8 bottles of tobanjan? LOL! Yap, both bartenders were very nice and we had a amazing meal and great time there.

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  10. Love everything about the salad, especially the lotus root garnish.

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    1. Thank you so much. Your blog is wonderful, I'm looking forward to get to know you better.

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  11. wow, this must be a michelin stars appetizer salad!
    btw, i guess it's healtier option if you paper toweled the bacon dripping, but i guess i'm too greedy to let it away....
    the dripping gonna be a great dressing to the glass noodle too.

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    1. Thank you for your compliment. I agree, bacon dripping give this salad much depth.

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  12. This is gorgeous! I love the presentation; like a perfect little delicious package.

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    1. Thank you Kate. So nice of you to dropped by.

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