Friday, December 2, 2016

Chinese Potato Salad

I bet you didn't know that there was such a thing as Chinese Potato Salad. Or maybe you didn't realize that potatoes were part of Chinese Cuisine, but they are. The difference in the way the Chinese chefs cook them is that they are barely cooked and not at all starchy so they are much more like a vegetable. In fact, a lot of people are served stir fried Potatoes in restaurants in Beijing and don't even realize they are potatoes because the texture is so very different to the way we cook potatoes in the West. It's probably most like German Potato Salad in the use of Vinegar.  Now, stir fried Potatoes are quite wonderful and actually tastes very much like this salad, the only difference is that it is a hot dish and often is cooked with Hot Chiles. Chinese Potato Salad is always served cold, which really means room temperature. It's really a delicious Potato Salad, flavored with Chinese Black Vinegar, Tamari and Sesame Oil. The Potatoes and slivers of Carrot are barely cooked in salted water and then tossed with the dressing. It actually takes longer to cut the vegetables than it does to cook them!  Other ingredients can be added if you like. Red or Green Peppers are very nice and so is slivered Green Onions although they should be used raw. The Potatoes and Carrots maintain some crunch and the potatoes are much more vegetal than you would expect. This dish is so good that I just can't stop eating it whenever I make it!

Chinese Potato Salad

4 medium Red Potatoes, peeled
1 Carrot, trimmed and peeled
Water for blanching
1 Handful of Cilantro Leaves
1 1/2 Tablespoons Chinese Black Vinegar (Chinkiang)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Tamari
2 Tablespoons Roasted Sesame Oil
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Cut the Red Potatoes and Carrots into 1/4 slices and then cut again into shreds. Heat a small pot of water and when it is boiling, add in the Potato and Carrots pieces. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water and place in a serving bowl.  

In a small bowl, mix together the Vinegar, Tamari, Sesame Oil, Sugar and Salt. Pour over the Potatoes and Carrots and toss to combine. Sprinkle the top with the Cilantro. Toss several more times before serving.

Five Element Analysis

This dish is very Earthy as both the Potato and Carrot belong to that Element. The Tamari and Sesame Oil contribute the Water Element and the Vinegar brings in the Wood Element.  The Cilantro makes sure that the Metal Element is present too. So, this would be an excellent salad to serve with a main dish that has some Fire or hot Chiles in it!

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