This blog is dedicated to Mum, my greatest mentor. It is a compilation of simple recipes - Bengali, Indian, Burmese and Continental, among others. All of these recipes have been tested in my kitchen. Most use everyday ingredients found at your local market, but some use specialty ingredients available at Asian and/or Indian markets. Comments are welcome and members are invited to send in any recipes they would like to share.
An Internet recipe served as the basis for this salad but I made many adjustments to suit my taste. The addition of dark sesame oil (toasted), fried legumes (pei kyaw) and minced green chilies pumped up the heat along with added crunch and flavour. Blanching the shredded cabbage is how I prefer to use it in Burmese salads. My husband and fiercest food critic ate every last crumb on his plate while his eyes watered and his scalp perspired. It was made with just me in mind so the peppers were diced with the seeds intact, but he asked to try it and loved it!
The recipe called for rice vermicelli, but all I had was tapioca vermicelli that had no instructions on the package. My first attempt at cooking these noodles turned to mush, so I soaked the noodles in hot tap water and microwaved on high power at 30 second intervals for a total of 2 minutes with excellent results.
Note: There's no need to add salt because the fish sauce is salty enough.
8 oz. tapioca (or other) vermicelli, cooked al dente
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced in thin crescents
1/2 seedless English cucumber, peeled and julienned
1/4 head of cabbage, shredded & blanched
1 russet potato, peeled, diced and steamed until fork tender
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 serrano pepper, quartered and minced
1 Tbsp. each fried channa dal and fried broad beans (pei kyaw)
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped coarsely
2 Tbsp. dried shrimp powder
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. chili-garlic oil
Juice of 1 lime
Dump all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
Chill in refrigerator or serve at room temperature.