Seafood Salad with Vietnamese Herbs
The gastronomy of Vietnam is packed with complex flavors. But as this recipe demonstrates, the food here places a big emphasis on fresh vegetables, herbs, as well as seafood. This seafood salad with Vietnamese Herbs comes from the chefs of the Red Bridge cooking school, where one of your three cooking classes takes place during our Cooking and Culture in Southeast Asia trip. The school itself is a fascinating place; to get to the kitchen, guests embark on a half-hour leisurely cruise down the Hoi An River. Many of the ingredients used in recipes such as this one are also picked from the school’s garden.
Learn more traditional Vietnamese recipes with a visit to Southeast Asia.
_Makes 4 servings._
* 2 tsp vegetable oil
* 1 tbs thinly sliced shallots
* 100 g shrimp, shelled and devined, & thinly-sliced squid
* 1 tsp thinly-sliced ginger
* 1/2 tsp black pepper
* 1 c grated or sliced papaya, green mango, lotus roots, carrot, cucumber, and onion
* 2 sliced red chilies
* 2 tsp sugar
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 limes (or 1 lemon)
* 1 c mixed mint (Vietnamese & standard garden mint)
* 2 tbs sesame seeds
* 2 tbs peanuts
* 1 pineapple (cut into two, and empty the middle)
* 2 pieces crispy rice paper toasted on the BBQ
1. Add two teaspoons of vegetable oil to a wok/fry pan, and stir in shallots until lightly brown.
2. Add shrimp and cook for one more minute.
3. In the pan, put in the squid as well as one teaspoon of ginger, and cook for three to four minutes. Add half a teaspoon of black pepper at the end.
4. Transfer everything from the pan to a large bowl and add the salad mixture (except the mint and sesame seeds). Mix well.
5. Add the mint, peanuts, and sesame seeds just before serving. Toss the mixture lightly. (If allowed to stand too long, the sesame seeds will become soggy and the mint will turn black).
6. This step is optional, but a delicious way to serve the salad. Transfer the mixture to the pineapple boat and serve immediately with pieces of crispy rice paper.