Sunday, 11 January 2015

Vinegar Dressing Oriental Salad (小菜)

I make dashi stock regularly and find it a waste to throw away the kombu (kelp). Kombu is not cheap and is rich in minerals, so I often use it to make this side dish. My family loves the Xiao Cai from Din Tai Fung, so I  created a homemade version. My family prefers tau pok to tau kwa as they absorbs the seasoning better. 

小菜 (serves 6-8)

60g-80g dried tung hoon, soaked in water to soften
250g bean sprouts
1 large piece of kombu(kelp)
4 large pieces of tau pok/tau kwa
1 bunch of spring onion
1 fresh red chilli or chilli flakes (optional)

Fine Chilli Peppers flakes 
Seasoning (adjust amount according to your preference)
4.5 - 5 tablespoons of light soy sauce
4.5 - 5 tablespoons of rice vinegar
2.5 - 3 tablespoons of raw sugar
2 - 2.5 tablespoons of sesame oil
0.5 teaspoon of chilli oil (optional)

Rice Vinegar
1. Soak kelp in some water till it expanded. Bring to boil and cook for about 15-20 minutes until softened and cooked. Drain and sliced thinly. Set aside. (This stock can be used to make Japanese dashi stock. Add a handful of bonita flakes and boil for couple of minutes, then drain. Dashi stock can be used for making chawamushi and other Japanese dishes.)

2. Soak tung hoon in water till softened. Bring a wok/pot of water to boil. Cook the tung hoon for about 10 minutes till cooked. Drain and place in a large bowl.

3. Using the same pot of boiling water, blanch the bean sprouts for couple of minutes. Do not overcook them or they will turn soggy. Drain and add to the same large bowl.

4. With the same boiling water, blanch the tau pok  for couple of minutes to remove excess oil. Drain, cut them into thin slices and add to the large bowl. If you are using tau kwa, give it a quick blanch too. 

5. Add sliced kombu, chopped spring onion and red chilli to the large bowl.

6. Prepare the seasoning in a separate bowl. Mix well and pour the seasoning into the large bowl. Mix well and let the dish sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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