Celebrity chef Susur Lee’s signature dish is not only a feast for the stomach, but a feast for the eyes. Inspired by a dish from Southeast Asia, Lee put his own unique spin on it when he moved back to North America by trading ingredients found in Singapore for local ingredients. Herein, he shares his recipe for the fresh, all-season and insanely addictive salad for which the noted chef is known.
- 1 pickled red onion, julienned
- 1 1⁄2 cups salted plum dressing
- 2 green onions, both white and green parts, julienned
- 1 taro root, peeled and julienned
- 2 oz rice vermicelli, broken into 3 pieces
- 1 large English cucumber, julienned
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 small jicama, peeled and julienned
- 2 large roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and julienned
- 4 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 6 tsp crushed roasted peanuts
- 4 tsp edible flower petals
- 4 tsp fennel seedlings
- 4 tsp daikon sprouts
- 4 tsp fried shallots
1. Soak green onion in very cold water to keep crisp. Meanwhile, heat a large pot of oil. When temperature reaches 400°F, deep-fry taro root, half the amount at a time, for two minutes until crisp and light gold in colour.
2. Remove slices from oil, place on paper towel, and lightly salt. At same temperature, quickly deep-fry vermicelli, half at a time, for two seconds, or until they curl. Remove vermicelli from oil, place on paper towel and lightly salt.
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SALTED PLUM DRESSING
- 1 cup salted preserved plum (pitted)
- 1 1⁄2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp mirin
- 1 tsp dashi
- 1⁄2 tbsp onion oil
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1. In blender, combine salted preserved plum, vinegar, mirin, dashi, onion oil, sugar, ginger and salt. Purée until smooth.
1. Remove julienned green onion from water and drain. Divide vermicelli equally between four plates and arrange green onion, cucumber, carrot, jicama, tomatoes, and pickled red onion around noodles. Top with fried taro root.
2. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and crushed peanuts over each salad. In a small bowl, combine edible flower petals, seedlings, sprouts and fried shallots. Sprinkle flower-sprout-shallot mixture on salad and serve with salted plum dressing alongside.