Monday, July 20, 2015

Chinese Sugar Snap Pea Salad

I just spent a wonderful week with my family in Glacier National Park.  I went there once before as a child.  I have vague memories of our green mini van, cold cut sandwiches, and mountains.

I haven't seen my nieces and nephews for a few months, and I was surprised how much they had changed.  Experiences like this remind me how life is so fleeting.

In addition to the wonderful company, the scenery was breathtaking.  

I saw five bears, three moose, and mountain goats.  I saw more bears in the last week than in my entire life up to that point.  Two of the moose were babies who were with their mother.

I made this salad the week before my vacation to be a little healthy before the gluttony that inevitably occurred during my family trip.  The salad recipe came from  I swapped out half of the sugar snap peas with baby corn.

The ingredients are 12 ounces sugar snap peas, 12 ounces baby corn, 1 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, salt, 1/2 cup carrot sticks, 1/2 cup sliced brown mushrooms, 1 cup water chestnuts, 1/2 cup julienne cut red bell pepper, and 2 teaspoons sesame seeds.

I first made the sauce.  I heated the sesame oil over medium heat.  I then added the ginger and sauteed the ginger for two minutes.

I added the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauteed for another minute.

I added the sugar, soy sauce, and oyster sauce.  I brought the ingredients to a simmer and removed the pan from the heat to cool.

I blanched the sugar snap peas and baby corn for two minutes.

Meanwhile I added the red peppers, mushrooms, and carrots to a bowl.

I drained and cooled the sugar snap peas and baby corn.  I added them to the vegetables.

I added the water chestnuts.

I poured the dressing over the vegetables and stirred.  I added salt to taste.

The last touch was sesame seeds.

This was a refreshing and crisp salad.  Most of the vegetables are raw and the sugar snap peas and baby corn are still firm.

The salad was better the second day once the flavors melted together and the vegetables softened in the dressing.

The flavors of the dressing were salty, sweet, and deep.  

The colors were bright and alluring.  There were a variety of textures.  The water chestnuts were crunchy, the mushrooms firm but giving, and the carrots crisp.

 This was a delicious and satisfying salad.  There was a kick from the crushed pepper flakes, but it wasn't overwhelming.  I like a little heat, and I thought the level of heat was spot on.  I'd made this salad again.

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