Thursday, April 19, 2012

Japanese-style carrot salad with ginger soy sesame dressing

Japanese-style carrot salad
This little vegetable side packs a punch and comes together in a snap. With a few speedy side recipes like this up your sleeves, cooking a Japanese meal on a weeknight is a much more do-able proposition.

Carrots and the spice ginger are a classic pairing in Moroccan cuisine, as in Claudia Roden's eye-opening carrot spread. Here, the ginger is not the dried spice, but fresh ginger juice which, if anything, is even more of a palate wake-up call!

Ceramic grater

The intention here is that you will serve this salad with a main dish, another small side dish and rice. The recipe is easily scalable, though, if you will be making fewer dishes.

The ginger-soy-sesame dressing would also be good with pan-fried broccoli or in place of regular soy sauce on hiyayakko (chilled tofu).

To get the juice from the ginger, I use a ceramic grater like this one, which pulps rather than grates the ginger. Squeeze the pulp and the juice comes right out. Since grated ginger and ginger juice are often called for in Japanese cooking, I wouldn't be without this neat little gadget in my utensil drawer.

The nori (dried laver seaweed) called for here is the plain kind, but use what you have or just skip it if you don't have any.

Wafu ninjin salada: Japanese-style carrot salad with ginger soy sesame dressing

Serves 4 as a side dish

1 carrot (about 160 g)
ginger juice from a piece of ginger the size of a man's thumb
1 tsp Japanese soy sauce
2 tsp Japanese toasted sesame oil

1 Peel the carrot and either continue shaving it into strips with the peeler or cut into fine strips with a mandolin. Place in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, mix with your hands and leave for 5 min to release some of the juices.

2 Meanwhile, peel and grate the ginger, preferably with a ceramic Japanese grater, and squeeze the juice out. Discard the ginger pulp. Squeeze the juices from the carrots by hand, tip out any juices remaining in the bowl and return the carrot strips to the empty bowl. Add the ginger juice, soy sauce, sesame oil and toss. Tear the yakinori by hand and add to the salad. Toss again and serve immediately.


Recipe source: Orange Page March 17, 2012 edition

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