Thursday, 13 March 2014

Luke Nguyen's pomelo and crab salad

Tonight we’re not so much experimenting as completely gambolling with this Vietnamese crab and pomelo salad. We like crab and we like Asian-style zingy salads, so in theory this should be fine. Also in its favour is the fact we’ve already tried and liked the other dish by the same chef, the ba-hac chicken soup.

However due to a variety of circumstances we’re going to have to take some shortcuts and get creative with alternatives as:

· we’ve only got lumpy tinned crab as there wasn’t any fresh
· we’ve thrown away the thai basil
· I couldn’t get pomelos so we’ve got to make do with ruby grapefruit
· I had to use Tom Yum paste because I can’t find the shrimp paste
· I forget to make the chilli sauce and buy the dried, crispy garlic and shallots

I also used too much replacement rocket (as we don’t have shiso, and I remember Jill Dupliex recommending the swap), so it ends up looking like some sort of slimy bag of leaves dumped on a plate, with some spit lovingly arranged around it.

As it turns out not only does it taste vastly nicer than it looks, it actually tastes amazingly delicious: zingy if a little too hot from my attempts at creating a chilli dressing, with sweetness from the crab and a tartness from the grapefruit.

Assuming I can actually hunter-gather the correct ingredients in SW14, I predict this will be a hit this summer and at less than 250Kcals, it neatly fits into the world of fasting meals currently overloaded by bleeding thai-style minced chicken in lettuce leaves.

pomelo and crab salad - Luke Nguyen, The Food of Vietnam c/o Delicious, January 2014, p72

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