Author Notes: The Chinese serve few salads such as we know them. This exception, made with cold vegetables and a very flavorful and piquant dressing is ideal to include in a company or everyday menu in either a Chinese or Western meal. I usually make this salad with roasted eggplant (photo #2) or green beans (photo #3), but although avocado is not a vegetable used in oriental cooking, this salad came out delicious. It is also very convenient that the cooking of the peppers and dressing can be done in advance and the last minute assembly is minimal. Serve this salad with grilled fish or quick roasted shrimps; it is very tasty on a hamburger and for vegetarians this salad is delicious served over or mixed into brown or wild rice and also served with roasted new potatoes and pan seared tofu. The possibilities are endless. Try and enjoy. - Kukla
Makes 4 to 6 servings
- • 2 (1 red +1 yellow) large bell peppers
- • 1 1/2 tablespoons each sesame seeds and vegetable oil, I used avocado oil
- • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
- • 1 heaping teaspoon finely grated ginger
- • 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and white wine or unseasoned rice whine vinegar
- • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 small, dry, hot chile pepper, crumbled and seeded
- • 2 whole green onions
- • 1 large ripe Hass avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise; then gently tossed in 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice just before serving
- • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped
- Char the bell peppers on the stove burner or under oven broiler, transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl, cover with plastic wrap and steam for about 15 minutes; then peel, discard seeds and slice into strips. Cover and chill for as long as 2 days.
- To make the dressing: in a small frying pan, cook sesame seeds in oil over low heat until golden (about 2 minutes); stir in garlic and ginger; then remove pan from heat. Let cool and then whisk in soy, vinegar, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes. Cover and chill.
- Before serving, place bell pepper strips in a colander and drain very well. Thinly slice green onions. In a medium mixing bowl combine the drained bell pepper strips, green onions and cilantro; mix in the dressing and very gently avocado slices.
- For the eggplant salad: 1 large eggplant or 2 small Oriental eggplants piers in several places. Broil uncovered in the oven until very soft (about 30 to 35 minutes). Cool; peel and tear flesh into shreds, discard any seeds. Place in a colander, cover and drain very well; I like even to drain under a press for a couple hours in the refrigerator; then continue with recipe.