Agar, Cucumber & Celery Salad
This is a very flavorful and light salad which goes well with almost anything on a hot summer's day. It can also be a light meal in its own right. I even make it in winter.
2" long agar, 2" diameter bundle (see note below) 1 lg cucumber, peeled, deseeded & julienned 3 lg celery stalks, julienned
3 oz prosciutto ham, julienned 3 oz chicken, cooked, julienned 1 lg egg
2 TBS vinegar 1 tsp sugar ½ tsp sesame oil ¼ tsp black pepper 2 TBS soy sauce 1 TBS fish sauce 1 clove garlic, finely minced 1 tsp ginger, finely minced
Soak the agar in cold water for 10 minutes and drain.
Prepare an egg sheet by beating the egg and swirling it in a hot greased skillet. Flip the egg sheet and remove when set.
Julienne all the salad ingredients into 2 inch strips.
Toss the agar, cucumber & celery in a bowl and garnish with the ham, egg and chicken.
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well.
Chill the salad and dressing until ready to serve.
Just before serving, toss the dressing with the salad.
Note: Agar (aka: agar-agar) is a translucent seaweed. The form of agar preferred for this recipe comes in long thin flat white strips which look like smashed course cord. It is difficult to find, but is sometimes available in Chinese grocery stores and occasionally pan-Asian grocery stores.
Unfortunately, when I used the above pictured brand of agar I found it to be a very poor choice. It had a square cross-section, the texture of overcooked pasta and absolutely no flavor.
When I next get some good agar, I'll foto the package and update this page. The best agar for this recipe has a flat cross-section. Its texture is slightly firm and it has a clean sea-like mildly iodine flavor.
This recipe was adapted from Elizabeth Moy's recipe provided in session #4 (of 54 sessions) of her Oriental Cooking Course given at Moy Oriental Kitchens, in Washington, DC in 1974-1975.
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