This salad is about layering on the flavour. Prepare to be, as my dear friend Mel would say, “GOBSMACKED”!
Inspiration was drawn from Ottolenghi’s Miso and Peanut Butter Chickpea Salad on the Guardian, except I wanted to make this salad rather quickly and without turning on the oven.
I have made this salad twice with and without taking the simple steps to season the cucumber and edamame, and you definitely do not want to skip these steps. Layers of flavour do not happen by magic. Yet magic happens when you put in the work to create those layers.
That said, this salad is clearly very versatile given I just made it up on the spot borrowing from Ottolenghi’s recipe. Feel free to swap out the legumes (canned chickpeas would work great), acid (rice vinegar or lemon juice if you don’t have limes), or literally make an altogether-new salad if you want! Recipes are just guiding principles.
For the chili crisp, I had made a batch of Kwokspots’ recipe, which keeps in the fridge for months and is a flavour bomb that can be used in myriad of ways. You can use store-bought chili oil if you want.
For the fried shallots, I bought a massive jar from a Chinese grocery store, which has a shelf-life of 2 years and honestly I do not know how but I do not ask such questions. If you are feeling like going all-out, feel free to fry your own shallots!
1 tbsp miso (I used red)
1 tbsp peanut butter (no added salt/sugar)
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 large garlic clove, crushed/minced
2 tsp ginger, pounded into a fine paste
1 cup frozen edamame
3 mini cucumbers (or 1/2 English cucumber)
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 red radishes, sliced thinly
4 cups spring mix
2 green onions, finely chopped
Flaky sea salt
Toppings (measure with your heart)
Roasted peanuts, roughly pounded/chopped
- Put on a pot of water to boil. While waiting, make the dressing: whisk together the miso, peanut butter, lime juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and plenty of black pepper. This will become a thick paste. Add small amounts of water (1 tbsp at a time) to thin and continue whisking to achieve desired dressing consistency.
- Use a pestle or rolling pin (or any cucumber assault weapon) to smack the cucumber several times down its length until the sides are slightly bursting open. Then cut into half lengthwise and chop into 1 cm pieces. Transfer to a bowl, add the rice vinegar, a couple pinches of caster sugar, and a pinch of kosher salt and let sit.
- Once the water is boiling, add frozen edamame and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately hit with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Set aside.
- Assemble the salad: in a large bowl, mix the radishes, spring mix, green onions, the seasoned cucumbers (drained of the liquid), and about half of the dressing and toss. Taste and add more dressing if needed. Spread out onto a large plate, scatter the edamame, and drizzle on more of the dressing on top. Then, scatter the peanuts, fried shallots, cilantro, and finally with chili crisp. Serve and get gobsmacked.