A delightful accompaniment for fried or grilled meat or fish, this mung bean sprouts and spinach salad is tossed with sesame oil and rice vinegar dressing.
We had this very Oriental salad the same day we had the crispy fried fish with chili pineapple sauce. What a wonderful combo they made! Bold fruity flavors in the main dish while the side dish is all about subtlety and understatement. After all, a side dish is meant to complement the main dish rather than compete with it.
Are the vegetables raw? No, not at all. The spinach is blanched, shocked in iced water, drained and squeezed to remove as much moisture as possible. The mung bean sprouts are likewise blanched, plunged in an icy bath and drained.
If the spinach and mung bean sprouts are simply tossed with sesame oil and rice vinegar dressing, isn’t the flavor a little flat? Well, there’s more to the salad than that. I just couldn’t include all the ingredients in the opening paragraph because that would have been too overwhelming. But all ingredients, including grated ginger and minced garlic, are listed in the recipe.
- Rinse the spinach well to remove any trace of soil or sand. Do the same with the mung bean sprouts. Drain.
- Fill a medium sized pot with water. Bring to a rolling boil.
- Half fill two bowls with water and drop in a generous amount of ice.
- Drop the spinach into the boiling water, pushing down to submerge all of it. Cook for two minutes or just until wilted. Scoop out, with a kitchen spider, let the water drip off and plunge in the first bowl of icy water.
- Bring the water in the pot to boiling point once more. Drop in the mung bean sprouts and cook for half a minute. Scoop out, allow the excess water to drip off and plunge in the second bowl of icy water.
- Drain the spinach. Squeeze with your hands to remove as much water as you can. Roughly chop.
- Drain the mung bean sprouts.
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the dressing. Add the spinach and mung bean sprouts. Toss gently and serve.
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