With Spring -FINALLY- settling in London, salads have become my new dinner staple. Even though I’m quite loyal to a good Caprese salad (yay, mozzarella!), there was some time last week when I simply couldn’t get the idea of a Bahn-Mi sandwich off my head. But since it is impossible to find a good baguette in London (believe me, I’ve tried!), I decided to go for a Bahn-Mi inspired salad. And it was delicious!For two people, you’ll need:
- one carrot, cut into thin ribbons (I did this using my vegetable peeler)
- one lime
- fresh chilli (I used about half)
- one clove of garlic
- 5 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
- 5 tablespoons of fish sauce (+ some to serve)
- 1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar
- 1/3 cucumber
- about 10 radishes
- 200g uncooked prawns
- baby gems (to serve)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil (to serve)
(Yes, that IS a lot of stuff. It just happens that my kitchen’s cupboards are better stock than most stores…)
1- Prep your (quick pickled) carrots: In a box with a lid, mix the carrot ribbons and a teaspoon of salt. Close the box and shake it off. After a few minutes, rinse off the salt. Add the rice vinegar and the brown sugar. Close the box and shake it until the sugar has dissolved. Leave it to the side until you’re ready to serve.
Onto the rest of the prep: Dice your garlic, cut up your chilli and slice off your herbs, your cucumber and radishes. As it happens, rolling the mint makes it much easier to chop, in case you were wondering!Marinate your prawns: in a bowl, mix the prawns, the lime juice, the sliced chilli and chopped garlic. Add the fish sauce, mix thoroughly and leave to marinate for about 30 minutes.
Once that’s over, pour the whole lot in a pan and cook until dry (the marinade should entirely evaporate).
Dress your plate as nicely as you can starting with the salad leaves and piling up all the other goodies on top (cucumber, radishes, pickled carrots, prawns). Add a bit of fish sauce (about one tablespoon will do) and a dash of sesame oil, as well as salt and pepper (and maybe a sprinkle of chilli pepper if you want).
Top up with fresh herbs and admire your work… or you know, just tuck in!What’s your favourite salad? Looking for inspiration, hit me with your recipes!