Food For Thought – Sambal and Ginger

Img_2261 This week on Food For Thought, an Asian grocery store for the Western Kitchen.  To listen to my story about Sambal & Ginger in streaming RealAudio, click here .

Img_2257_1 Lynn Santiago is the congenial proprietor of Sambal & Ginger, a shop crammed full of all the authentic dry goods you need to create tasty dishes from over 15 Asian and South Asian countries.

Img_2306_2 This is a dish of cold noodles and prawns I made from a Japanese recipe I picked up at Lynn’s shop, where I found the ingredients I needed, such as seaweed, a Japanese spice mixture and a savoury salad dressing.  You want to try it?  Here’s the recipe:

Somen Noodle, Prawn and Cucumber Salad

2 Lebanese (short cucumber) or 1 Firm English Cucumber
1 Tbsp Dried wakame seaweed pieces
100 g (3.5 oz) Dried somen noodle
12 Cooked Prawns/Shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half lengthwise
3 Scallions, thinly sliced on diagonal
Shichimi Togarashi (option to serve)

Dressing:
185 ml Hon tsuyu (a Japanese soup base)
2 Tsp Ginger, finely grated
½ Tsp sesame oil

Cut cucumbers in half lengthways (keep 3 inches in length), scoop out seeds, slice very thinly on slight diagonal.  Put cucumber in colander, sprinkle with salt and set aside 10 minutes, rinse, drain and gently squeeze out as much water as you can.  Chill in fridge until needed.  Meanwhile, soak wakame in cold water 5 minutes, drain well and chill.  Mix all dressing ingredients together, chill.  Bring large saucepan of water to boil then reduce to simmer.  Add noodles, cook 2 minutes or until tender.  Quickly drain and rinse under cold running water until noodles are completely cool.  Combine cucumber, wakame, noodles, prawns and half scallion in large bowl.  Pour dressing and toss.  Serve immediately, garnish with remaining scallion and sprinkle with shichimi togarashi.

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