The ingenious topping of quick-fried cellophane noodles makes this eye-catching slaw irresistibly crunchy. Wendy Leon likes to serve it alongside Peking duck; tossing it with shrimp or tofu would make for an even healthier main course.
Recipe Tips from F&W EditorsMore Chinese Recipes
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 1/2 ounces dried cellophane noodles
One 10-inch burdock or salsify root
2 cups packed mesclun (2 ounces)
1 1/2 cups finely shredded red cabbage
1 1/2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
1 large celery rib, cut into 2-inch julienned strips
1 small carrot, cut into 2-inch julienned strips
1 scallion, cut into 2-inch julienned strips
One 2-ounce piece jicama, peeled and cut into 2-inch julienned strips ( 1/2 cup)
1/3 seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into 2-inch julienned strips ( 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup snow peas, julienned lengthwise
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves
How to Make It
In a small bowl, whisk the hoisin sauce with the vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 350°. Break the noodles into 2 equal clusters. Add one cluster to the hot oil; fry until the noodles puff up and whiten, about 5 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the noodles to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining cluster.
Squeeze the lemon half into a medium bowl of water. Peel the burdock root, cut it into 2-by- 1/4-inch strips and soak in the lemon water for 5 minutes.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Drain the burdock. Add it to the saucepan and cook over high heat until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and let cool.
In a large bowl, toss the mesclun with the red and green cabbages, celery, carrot, scallion, jicama, cucumber, snow peas, cilantro and burdock. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Transfer the salad to a platter. Top with the fried noodles, garnish with the basil and serve right away.
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