If you’re looking for a salad that diverges from traditional North American fare, here’s one from Asian cuisine for a change of pace.
This recipe arrives courtesy of Old Bird (3950 Main Street), which Vancouver’s Chinese Restaurant Awards named as one of four Game Changers in 2021, or restaurants that opened up during the pandemic and have impressed with their level of quality.
Chinese Summer Salad with Old Bird Chili Oil
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Yield: serves two
1 cup rehydrated wood ear mushroom (soak dried wood ear mushroom in warm water for 20 to 40 minutes until fully bloomed)
1 cup cucumber, deseeded and cut on a bias
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup red pepper, cut into sticks
1/4 cup red onion, cut into thin slices
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 clove garlic minced
Old Bird Chili Oil—as you please
In a medium-sized pot, boil 1 litre of water, then add the rehydrated wood ear mushroom. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes.
Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside to let the mushroom dry off as much as possible. Remove any thick parts.
In a mixing bowl, combine sliced cucumber and 1 tsp of salt.
Set aside—the salt will pull out excess moisture from the cucumbers. Leave for 10 minutes, then pat the cucumber dry with a paper towel.
For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
Add all ingredients together and mix well.
Set the salad aside in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Scoop salad onto a lipped plate and drizzle on Old Bird Chili Oil.