Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Asian Carrot and Daikon Radish Salad

Maybe this salad is not an ideal choice for today's snowy weather, but I thought it would be a nice recipe to share after the recent fall holidays and before the upcoming Christmas, offering something lighter than a traditional food we eat during this time.

For a long time, I have been looking for the recipe that would use daikon radish which I always see in Asian food stores but have never tried. And finally I found one in my old vegetarian cook book. I was keen to prepare it all the more so that I bought a bag of organic tricolor carrots, which would add an extra nice presentation aspect to this salad.

With some modifications and extra seasoning the salad turned out very light, crispy, and refreshing and also very low in calories. Daikon radish is more delicate and sweeter than the regular small radish and is also more rich in minerals and vitamins.

A combination of all ingredients made this salad very Asian in taste. I served it just with smoked salmon which made it altogether taste a little bit like a sushi type dish with the salad perfectly complementing the delicate taste of the salmon. I think it could be also very refreshing and served over the summer with grilled steaks marinated in a wasabi sauce.

Carrot and Daicon Radish Salad
(Serves 4-6)

2 cups bean sprouts,
1/2 English cucumber, peeled,
3 carrots (three colors would look especially attractive),
1 small daikon radish (carrot size and length),
1/2 medium red onion, finely sliced,
1 inch of peeled fresh ginger root, finely sliced and cut into thin strips,
1 small red chili pepper, seeded and cut into thin slices,
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves,

Ingredients for the dressing:
2-3 tbsp rice vinegar,
1 tbsp light soy sauce,
1 garlic cloves, minced,
1 tbsp sesame oil,
3 tbsp rice bran or any light vegetable oil,
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted,
salt and pepper to taste.

1. Wash bean sprouts with cold water on a colander and drain. Put them in a large bowl.
2. Using a vegetable peeler shred the carrots and the daikon into thin strips. Put them in the bowl with the bean sprouts.

3. Cut cucumber in half, remove seeds and slice it into thin slices.
4. Place the cucumber in the bowl. Add sliced onion, ginger, chile and cilantro.
5. Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl, and pour it over the salad.
6. Toss lightly and serve.