This vibrant fresh Malaysian salad was inspired by my trip to Penang several years ago. After a busy day eating Dim Sum in Chowrasta market in Chinatown and delicious roti canai in Little India we stopped off for a proper meal at a wonderful restaurant called Minah.
Minah was a typical Malay style restaurant, where fabulous food was cooked and presented buffet style. We ate so well; grilled fish with a tamarind dip, rich beef rendang, Ulam salad that had juicy cucumber and pineapple and lastly a wonderful beansprout salad - Kerabu. It was crunchy, hot and so delicious and worked so well with the beef curry, absorbing all the rich flavours.
My version is all raw, so it's super quick to make. It tastes fantastic with any grilled meat or fish and works beautifully with a creamy S.E. Asian curry.
Malaysian Coconut and Chili Kerabu Salad
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 1/4 cups bean sprouts
1/2 red chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 small handful mint leaves, roughly chopped
FOR THE DRESSING
4 tablespoons fish sauce
juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons sugar
1-inch piece ginger root, peeled
1. To make the dressing, whisk the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar together in a large bowl. Grate the gingerroot into the bowl, discarding the fibrous bits, and mix well.
2. Scatter the onion over the dressing and mix well, then set aside 5 to 10 minutes. This takes the rawness out of the onion.
3. Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring continuously,
30 to 40 seconds until the coconut turns a lovely golden brown. Tip it onto a plate and
4. To assemble the salad, add the red pepper, bean sprouts, red chili and mint to the
onion mixture and toss until all the ingredients are well coated. Transfer to a serving bowl, scatter the roasted coconut over the top and serve immediately.
From Mighty Spice Cookbook by John Gregory-Smith © Duncan Baird Publishers 2011