Recently a friend and I dropped in for a bite at Susur Lee’s restaurant “Lee’s” on King Street. It was my first time there, but certainly not my first time enjoying his food. JT bought me his cookbook in 2009 for Christmas, and although most of the recipes are way too laborious, I definitely recommend this one. It is abso-f-in-lutely the most wonderful explosion of flavours you can imagine! It is an ever morphing ingredient list, which entirely depends on what’s fresh and available. Don’t allow my recipe or his to deter you from this dish…make it your own! Use the same shredder for all the ingredients that require shredding, and that way each bite is an adventure!
Lee Inspired Asian Slaw (adapted from Susur Lee’s Singapore Slaw)
- 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
- 2 cups shredded celeriac (celery root)
- 1 cup shredded English cucumber
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup very thinly sliced celery
- 1″ diametre chives in similar length to the shredded veg
- 1 cup any kind of vegetable sprouts (arugula would be great)
- 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 3 tbsp chopped peanuts
- 1/2 cup pickled onion (this is definitely worth the effort)
- Pile on a decorative plate, alternating colours. Dress and toss in front of your guests. It’s a real show stopper!
Pickled Onion (directly from Lee’s recipe)
- 1 red onion
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig thyme
- Peel and julienne red onion and set aside in a medium bowl.
- In small saucepan, bring vinegar and water to a boil. Season with salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, bay leaf, and thyme; continue boiling for another 5 minutes.
- Pour mixture over onion while hot and let sit for 1 hour or more. This lasts a good long time in the refrigerator, if you don’t consume it first!
The main thing about this dressing is that you need a balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy – so if you don’t have something at hand, improvise, as I did!
- 1/2 cup ripe sweet puréed papaya
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 1 1/2 tablespoons puréed onion
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- 2 tbsp Rose’s Lime Cordial
- 1/2 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tsp fresh green or red Thai chillies
- 1/4 or more teaspoon salt
- Blend until smooth using an immersion blender.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This salad keeps well refrigerated if you keep the wet ingredients (such as cucumber) separated from the dry and dress it when you serve it!