Here at Eclectic East, we love food; eating it, and also making it. One of the best things about living in Asia is all the delicious foods that we get to eat all the time and the abundance of interesting ingredients. We have decided to bring you a bit of Eclectic East cooking by way of a Friday food post – maybe you can give our recipes a try over the weekend. This week we bring you the 15 greens salad with feta and seeds, this is a hearty and healthy salad. The dressing is quite Asian in flavour and marries well with the assortment of greens, the feta adds a tang and a different texture – we can’t get enough of it!
So often I hear westerners in Hong Kong complaining that food is so expensive. This is not a lie if you need to use imported ingredients in your cooking. I became fed up with paying above the odds to use western ingredients and focused instead on cooking with as many local ingredients as I could (well, a girl’s gotta have pasta!). It has been an exciting challenge and means I can make use of the wonderful markets with copious amounts of fresh food that hasn’t flown thousands of miles to sit at our table. Today I have been to the market and sourced an array of Asian greens (Hong Kong markets are literally bursting at the seams with green stuff!) from which I am going to make a very tasty and healthy salad. Don’t worry if you aren’t living in Asia, as with most of my recipes, this one is pretty flexible so I have mentioned some switches below if you cannot get hold of some of the weird and wonderful veggies that we have in Hong Kong.
Ingredients – this will make a lot of salad, enough for 4 people as a main course or 8 as a side, it should keep in the fridge for a day or so but it is best eaten on the first day.
For the Salad
- Half a head of brocoli
- A handful of snakebeans (or french beans if you cannot get hold of snake beans)
- A bunch of spinach
- A large bunch of fresh mint
- A large bunch of fresh coriander
- A handful of Choi Sum (these are Chinese vegetables, if you cannot get them you could try using sprouting brocoli instead)
- One green bell pepper
- A nice ripe avocado
- One cup of edamame (boiled and de-shelled) If you cannot get edamame try broad beans instead.
- 2 mini cucumbers (or one large cucumber)
- A handful of baby asparagus spears
- A handful of green bean sprouts
For the dressing
- A thumb sized piece of ginger
- 2 large green chillies (if you don’t like spicy food then you can reduce this)
- 2 spring onions
- Juice of 3 limes
- Juice of one lemon
- 5 tablespoons of sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons of Chianking vingear (if you cannot get this then balsamic could work I think)
- 4 Tablespoons of light soy sauce (the kind used for sushi)
For the topping
- A handful of pumpkin seeds
- A Handful of sunflower seeds
- Half a packet of feta cheese
1. If your edamame are not already cooked and de-shelled, place them in a large pan of boiling water and allow to cook for 10-15 mins until the beans are tender and come out of their shells easily.
2. Meanwhile make your dressing. Chop the ginger, chilles and spring onion very finely and place in a medium sized bowl.
Add the sesame oil, vinegar, lemon and lime juice and then soy sauce and mix all together. Leave to stand whilst you prepare the salad.
3. Your Edamame should be cooked by now, so drain them and de-shell them. This part is a bit tedious but it is well worth it because they are yummy and nutritious!
4. Now finely chop all the remaining ingredients. It is really important to slice really really finely because they are going to be raw in the salad. If you chop them too large they won’t blend well together and also won’t absorb enough of the delicious dressing that you made.
5. When all the ingredients are sliced, put them together in a large mixing bowl and combine together with your hands.
6. Once combined, add the dressing and stir really well with a spoon, ensuring that all the greens are well coated with the dressing.
7. Finally, you can place on a serving dish and crumble the feta and sprinkle the seeds on top.
8. This works as a light main course (if you want to be very healthy) or why not try as a side with a grilled mackerel fillet – as shown below.