I am somewhat of a cuisine discriminator and I blame it nearly entirely on my uncle.
He is tall, wears excellent shirts and takes lovely photographs. He is funny and caring. Sounds like a good guy right?
Wrong! He is a downright priggish food monarchist! I found this out after once sharing with him my utter infatuation with Greek food - after a holiday in Corfu saw me sailing around the islands eating olives and fresh caught sardines.
He scoffed that any cuisine derived from a nation without a monarchy, without a royal family, was certain to be inferior.
I am afraid to say, I am not entirely dissimilar to him.
One of my pet peeves in life is seeing restaurants that embody two cuisines smashed together in some kind of unhappy arranged flavour marriage.
They will be called something like ‘Fant-Asia’ or ‘The Himalayan Café.’ So is it Chinese or Burmese? Nepalese or Tibetan?!
I often associate such cultural clashing as a proclamation of poor quality food lacking any authenticity.
But I now need to eat my words, sprinkled on top of this incredible Vietnamese/Japanese soba salad lovechild.
It was one of those lazy Sunday throw together meals - which I LOVE - but it ended up being way too delicious not to share. It is also a wonderful spring 'transition' salad, so it is great warm or cold!
It is as zesty and full of herbs like you would expect with a Vietnamese salad, with the added ginger, soy, garlic and lemon Japanese flavours.
I served it with really crispy skin salmon, and it was very delicious!
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 chilli
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 140 gram piece salmon (fried until crispy skinned)
- Handful of beans and broccolini (steamed)
- Finely chopped mint, coriander, shallots and baby spinach
- 1 serve cooked soba noodles
- For the dressing, combine peanut oil, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, soy, chilli, garlic, ginger, fish sauce and honey in a food processor until smooth.
- In a large bowl, toss together remaining salad ingredients, including noodles.
- Place salmon on top and drizzle with dressing.
- Serve with lemon.
NOTE: I would have served this with crushed peanuts too! But alas, I had none.