Celery sort of misses out in the salad stakes. There are not so many salads that feature celery as its core ingredient. This salad changes that, it at least puts a stake in the Celery Salad map. Asian style in flavours with a little heat, it will be a classic at your place once you have tried it.
Longan Berries are warming, according to Chinese philosophy. So this tea is great for warming the toes on cold nights, or perfect for when a cold is coming on or you just feel cold. Enjoy this by the bowlful.
Longan are sold fresh and dried. For tea, it is much more convenient to use dried. They are loved by the Chinese and used commonly across China. They are used to flavour many dishes – winter sweets, sweet Chinese soups and congee. Great for snacks on their own if freshly dried, or mix with raisins and other dried fruits, and walnuts and other nuts.
It is easy to find them. Wander the aisles of your local Asian/Chinese shop until you find the dried fruit section. Sometimes you will find them sold in bulk. Choose ones that are soft, like raisins, and avoid the harder dried ones. Store them in a jar in your pantry, keep them in the fridge, or even freeze them to preserve them well.
In China this tea would be called a sweet soup. Serve it with the berries in the tea. You can strain them out if you prefer, but they are lovely left in and munched on as you sip. Longan are very relaxing and good for the memory as well.
Are you after other Teas? Try Fragrant Persian Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea, Cardamom, Coriander and Fennel Herbal Tea (Ayurvedic CCF Tea), and Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea.
Parts of Asia, from China to Thailand and Singapore, even Bali, have amazing salads of the freshest of vegetables with handfuls of herbs. This salad celebrates that tradition, with ingredients from Japan, China and S.E. Asia. It is a bit of work, truth be told, but it makes such a great salad to take to a large gathering, BBQ or picnic. Not quite a Buddha’s Salad, it is so dynamic it is also wonderful eaten on its own as a course, or a light lunch, perhaps accompanied by some Chinese steamed rice.
The vegetables are all slightly pickled, the tofu is marinated, and the herbs are plentiful. Look for unusual ingredients in your local Chinese or Asian grocery shop.
This recipe is a little similar to Kylie’s Asian Herb and Sesame Salad, although they come from different sources. Both are worth trying if you enjoy slightly pickled salads. You might also like Cucumber and Red Radish Slightly Pickled Salad, or Slightly Pickled Mushrooms in Tamari and Sesame Oil.
Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – these are vegetarian recipes from our first blog, from 1995 – 2005. You might also like all of our Tofu recipes here and here. Or browse the SE Asian recipes here and here. All of our Salad recipes are here and here. Or spend some time to explore our easy Summer recipes here and here.
A very special way to cook rice.
There is a very gentle way of cooking rice using a combination of steaming and the absorption method, using indirect heat that leaves the rice so very fluffy with a wonderful texture. The method uses indirect heat to cook rice that as been previously soaked.
Soaking allows the long pointed grains of long grained rice to absorb some water, and allows the rice to relax a little before cooking. It does make a difference, especially if you are using basmati rice.
There are other ways to cook rice, including the absorption method and oven method.
A perfect quick meal or snack!
Deep Fried tofu can either be store-bought in packets, or made at home.
Versatile Deep Fried Tofu is available from any Asian or Chinese Grocery, where it might be called Tofu Puffs, or Fried Tofu Squares. As the name suggests, it is a tofu that has been deep fried. It is quite firm in texture and therefore is easy to slice and dice, to include in wet dishes, or simply serve as it is. It is definitely a delicious way of using tofu.
An alternative is to deep fry your own tofu. The texture and taste is quite different to store-bought deep fried tofu, and is worth the effort involved. See below for instructions on how to deep fry your own tofu.
All of our Tofu recipes are here and here. You might like to browse our Asian recipes here and here, the Chinese recipes here and here or our tempting Snacks here and here. Or simply explore our easy Mid Summer dishes.
You might also like to try tofu dishes without deep frying. Try Two Marvellous Tofu Recipes (Tofu Napoleons, and Tri Coloured Stuffed Tofu), Marinated Tofu with Sweet Peach Salsa, Cucumber and Tofu Salad, Tofu, Herb and Sesame Salad, and a dipping broth for tofu.
How to eat Vegetarian Banh Cuon – Rice Rolls – Chinese and Vietnamese.
One of the typically Asian things that I love is their rice rolls. But it can be confusing – how are these lovely rice rolls used?
You might also like What to Do with Deep Fried Tofu, Thai Eggplant with Sesame and Soy, or Chinese Anise Baked Apples and Pears. You may like to browse our other SE Asian recipes here and here, or our Summer recipes here and here.