Smashin’ radishes

09Jun08

With this second post, I am on my first steps in getting together a series of Chinese cold starters for hot days. Making a Chinese meal is difficult enough with all the prep work you have to do. It can be tough: cutting and shredding ingredients for hours on end, not even able to finish one dish; so making a cold starter can be very satisfying. You do the assembly work, put it on a plate, plonk it on the table, and that’s one dish less to worry about!

This starter I found at YouTube, where I found a real nice range of Chinese cooking videos by yeqiang, who is explaining enthousiastically how to make this radish salad, she sure made me want to try! She uses a large cleaver to smash radishes one by one for the full 5 minutes of the video, giggling happily all the time. This is how it goes: take 2 (to 3) small bunches of radishes and smash with the blade of a Chinese cleaver. Don’t worry if they almost fall apart: they are supposed to be that way. A nice kitchen chore to get rid of any stress!

Put them in a large bowl and mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt. Let sit for about 20 minutes, then throw away the water drawn from the radishes. Add 2 tablespoons of dark Chinese vinegar (or a mild white vinegar if you don’t like the Chinese vinegar flavor so much), 2 tablespoons of sugar and a half a teaspoon of sesame oil. Mix to combine, put in a nice serving bowl and garnish with some beautiful radish leaves. The bitter flavour of the radish has disappeared, giving you a clean and crispy bite. Very nice. Thank you Yeqiang!

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