We absolutely love our wontons and dumplings, bought frozen from one of the two Chinese shops in Umhlanga Rocks drive, then deep-fried or steamed in our bamboo steamer. But what to have on the side? Regularly having these little parcels of deliciousness on the menu, means that I get to experiment with new side salads all the time. During my trawl of the net, all I came across was spiralized this and spiralized that. It’s all the rage right now to be eating the same things but cut, cooked or presented in different ways. Probably because there aren’t any new foods to introduce to the market, so we need to fool our eyes and tongues into thinking we are trying something new and intriguing. And you know what, I think they are actually onto something. When I’m sick of eating carrots cut into cross section chunks, I find raw julienned carrots more appetizing and if I don’t feel like raw carrots, nor steamed slices, I am more than happy to have warm carrot puree. Essentially, it’s the same thing. It’s still carrots. But when you change the cut, the temperature, the texture and the plating, it just feels like something new altogether.
So I decided to jump on the bandwagon and see what everyone is going so crazy about. I ordered a very simple, affordable Spiralizer from Yuppiechef and bought the ingredients for this Thai Carrot & Zucchini Salad, which would be accompanying our dumplings. But sadly it didn’t arrive before the weekend, so I had to improvise. I used a carrot/ potato peeler and a multi-grating gadget that we got from Craig’s dad to cut the cabbage, carrots and zucchinis in three different ways to transform a very plain salad into a very pretty, satisfyingly crunchy and tantalizingly tasty Asian flavoured side salad. It just shows that you don’t actually need to buy a whole new contraption to mix it up; those everyday tools have so many other uses for other foods. You just need to be presented with a situation like this where you need to make an alternative plan.
Serves: 4 sides
- 3-4 zucchinis (you can also use baby marrows if you aren’t using a spiralizer) – spiralized OR sliced lengthways using a potato peeler
- ½ cup red cabbage (grated or roughly chopped or thinly sliced)
- ½ cup white cabbage (grated or roughly chopped or thinly sliced)
- 1 large carrot (grated or thinly sliced – choose a different texture to the cabbage)
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
- 1/2 tsp Ina Paarman’s chilli garlic spice
- brown sugar (to taste, and if necessary)
- When cutting or grating or spiralizing your veggies, try to produce as many different textures/ cuts as possible to produce the most appealing salad.
- Throw all the veggies (except the red cabbage because it stains the other veggies) into a big salad bowl and toss
- Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small jug and pour over the veggies, the toss again
- Add the red cabbage and give a very light toss to mix up
- Serve on the side of your deep fried and steamed dumplings, and enjoy!