Crunchy Burmese Cabbage Salad
By Wendy Hutton, Southeast Asia’s Best Recipes, From Bangkok to Bali
Reprinted with the express permission of Tuttle Publishing.
The Burmese have perfected the art of making salads, first choosing the vegetables, then adding extra ingredients for saltiness, texture, fragrance and acidity. In this simple yet really tasty recipe, shredded cabbage is mixed with onion, dried shrimp and lime juice, together with crisp-fried shallots.
Preparation time: 20 mins + 1 hour soaking
Cooking time: 5 mins
5 cups (375 g) round cabbage or Chinese (Napa) cabbage, finely shredded
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced across
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dried shrimp, dry roasted over low heat for 4–5 minutes, blended to a fine powder
2–3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon oil, preferably shallot or garlic-flavored oil
1 green finger-length chili, thinly sliced,
or 1 teaspoon crushed dried chili flakes
1–2 tablespoons Crisp-fried Shallots (omit if using Burmese Crispy Dried Shrimp Sprinkle)
Put the cabbage in a bowl, cover with cold water and refrigerate for 1 hour. Combine the onion with the salt, mixing well. Stand for 30 minutes, then rinse briefly and squeeze out the moisture. Set the onion aside.
Drain the soaked cabbage thoroughly, then put into a bowl. Add the onion, dried shrimp powder, if using, 2 tablespoons lime juice, oil and chili. Mix thoroughly by hand, squeezing the cabbage slightly to bruise it. Taste and add more salt and lime juice if desired.
Put the cabbage in a serving bowl and scatter with the crisp-fried shallots. Serve immediately with rice and other dishes.