Monday, June 25, 2007

Nonya-Style Salad


If I left it to dear Hubs as to what to make for dinner, the answer will inevitably by steaks, cheeseburgers, brats on the grill and corn on the cob. And now that the hot days of summer are here, it makes baking, cooking or working in the kitchen a little less appealing. Especially when there are swimming, playgroups and lots of trips to the 'play park' as the kids call it.

Made this simple nonya salad dish from Auntie Stella to go with bbq tonight, and the crunchy texture of the veggies and the toasted peanuts really add to the meal. She had always estimated quantities with her cooking, and whenever I asked for a recipe, her response has always been 'just go by taste!' So, that's what I did, at the very end...

Ingredients from the farmers market:
1 Cucumber
1 red pepper
1/2 a fresh Pineapple
fresh red chillies
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper

Ingredients from the pantry
about 2 tbs cider vinegar
1 tbs sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Homemade chili sambal or sambal oelek
1 tsp lime juice
toasted peanuts to garnish

Ingredients from the asian market
firm style tofu
shrimp paste - ommited
dried prawns, pounded and toastedDice up tofu and dry on several changes of paper towels. Heat up some veggie oil in the wok, and fry tofu till golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. A healthier alternative is to dice the firm tofu and combine with 1/8 c soy sauce, 1/8 c sesame oil and marinate for 10 mins. Line a baking pan with foil and lightly oil the foil. Place marinated tofu on foil and bake for 15-20 mins stirring once. Remove when golden brown and crispy.

Dice up the fresh veggies and pineapple. Place in bowl. Right before serving, add chili sambal, lime juice, vinegar, sugar and seasonings and mix well. Taste and adjust accordingly. Like most parents with young kids, I served the sambal and toasted chopped peanuts on the side this time. Serve immediately.

10 comments:

tigerfish said...

Sambal oelek is the key to it being nyonya, isn't it ? You can next try gado gado for summer cooking :)

Anonymous said...

Looks nice, and a good dish for hot days. - san.y

Dr ve Thru said...

A very refreshing salad to go with bbq. Wow, I am thinking rojak sauce as well with this....do you think it will go well? Slurp!

Little Corner of Mine said...

I like how you arranged the salad and made it looked like a pineapple, very "swee" leh!

WokandSpoon said...

My mum does that too. whenever I ask her how she makes a particular dish, she just says that she "agak-agak's" and goes by taste! The nonya salad looks lovely - so colourful!

Big Boys Oven said...

oh! yummy yummmy yummmmmy.... & yet so refreshing and attractive salad with a twist!

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Hi Tigerfish,
You must be a mind reader! :)

Thanks San.y!

Hi J,
Rojak sauce sounds great!

Thanks C, Wokandspoon, and Big Boys Oven! :)

Lee Ping said...

You shaped your salad like a pineapple! Even a carnivore like me would enjoy this salad. And what a hip square platter you got there...

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Hi Lee Ping,
Thanks for your observation and your kind words! :)

blur_mommy said...

That sounds like what my hubby would do too!! He also loves his grill!! : ) Ur salad looks really good!