Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dai-style Pea Tendril Salad

Pea Tendril Salad
Adapted from: Beyond the Great Wall

Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Fry time: 2-3 minutes

Serves 4

½ -1 lb/ 200-450g tender pea tendrils (judge amount for yourself, depending on number of people serving)
Dressing: (makes about ¼ cup)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp roasted sesame oil
1 small red cayenne chili, seeded & thinly sliced
2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
½ cup shallots, thinly sliced

1. Rinse, drain and gently pat dry pea tendrils and coarsely chop for easier eating. If the pea tendrils are very tender, place them in a serving bowl or platter. If they are a little tougher, set aside for now (see #3).

2. Combine vinegar, salt and sesame oil in a small bowl, stir and set aside.

3. For tougher pea shoots: bring 3 quarts of water to boil. Toss in the pea tendrils and stir to immerse. Cook until they are just tender to the bite (2-3 minutes usually is enough - don’t overcook or it will be too mushy). Drain thoroughly in a colander and quickly immerse in very cold water. Drain and press out excess water. Chop into 1” pieces and press out excess water again.

4. Stir sesame dressing again and pour over pea shoots on the platter. Toss to coat.

5. Heat a wok or heavy skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and swirl before adding the sliced shallots. Lower heat and fry until the shallots begin to golden, stirring so they don’t burn (about 2 minutes). Pour oil and shallots over pea tendrils.

6. Sprinkle with red chili and serve.

I served this with Mongolian Lamb Patties...delicious combo.

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