Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Reverse-Engineered Salad

Today was one of those days where you run around a lot to very little purpose. In short, I was told to load a van, drive home and change into nice clothes, drive back (did I mention it's a fifteen-mile drive?) and help out with a photo shoot... and it turned out that I wasn't even necessary, since the second setup was having problems and we turned out to not need it anyway.

What I got out of it was a lot of drive time and a fairly nice convention-center lunch. With a salad. In a takeout box with chopsticks.

It seemed pretty simple but somewhat unconventional. So here's my attempt to reconstruct it.

You will need:
Small cucumber (preferably under an inch and a half in diameter)
Daikon radish (preferred in Japanese cuisine; try an Asian market)
Kelp (no... really)
Rice wine vinegar
Shrimp, cooked and ready to eat, then chilled

Slice the cucumber and the daikon radish very, very thin. If you've got a mandoline or slicer-dicer or whatever they call it, use that. You want slices of no more than a millimeter or two. Chop the kelp into little pieces. In a shallow bowl, soak them in rice wine vinegar for five to fifteen minutes. (I am fairly sure that you could leave them soaking from morning without damage, but let's call that good.)

Serve in small portions with shrimp on top. Rice wine vinegar has a gentler flavor than white vinegar, so serve with something that complements a faintly bitter taste.

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