This week, our Friday Food post is brought to you from Weihai. I am unable to cook this week but I have done a lot of eating of delicious local cuisine. This particular dish is right up my street; fresh, flavoursome and bursting with nutrients. Kale is having a bit to a hipster moment in the west right now, but in China it has always been eaten when in season. This salad is an age old dish which is typically served with other cold appetisers at the beginning of a meal. Tradition aside, the hipster hype is not without substance – kale is extremely high in iron, antioxidants, and vitamins A and K. It is also low in calories and tastes delicious – what’s not to love!?
I must warn you, the high content of raw garlic makes it quite antisocial! So make sure you serve it to all your friends and don’t plan any dates after eating this one. The recipe comes courtesy of Chef William Yang of the Huancuiyuan restaurant in Weihai. It is super easy, no cooking required. I ate it with vegetarian dumplings and clear vegetable soup but I think it could go really well with grilled fish or meat, or even as an accompaniment to pasta since the fresh acidity will offset any rich sauces.
Ingredients – Makes a large bowl of salad for sharing
- One large bunch of kale – approx 400gm.
- 4 – 6 cloves of garlic (depending on how much garlic you can take!)
- 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- a pinch of salt
1. Wash and dry your kale and roughly rip it into biteable pieces using your hands. Place in a large salad bowl.
2. Now crush and finely chop your garlic – in the photos below you can see the garlic on the kale leaves, this is about the size you are going for.
3. Put the garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix well until completely combined.
4. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss together to thoroughly coat the kale in the dressing.
Serve as an accompaniment to your selected dish – I’m going to try it with grilled salmon when I get back to the kitchen. Or try your hand at making fresh vegetable and tofu dumplings like I did in Weihai – a good recipe is here.