Malaysian Rice Salad

August 12, 2013 § 3 Comments

I’ve been always interested in Southeast Asian foods, but never took the time to learn how to make anything.  I think the food is very sophisticated the way certain herbs are used with very French-like sauces and still be considered deeply-rooted Asian food.  I find the combination of Asian and European-influenced foods quite fascinating.  I should point out here that I am NOT one of those that likes exotic food, though—sashimi is about as exotic as it gets for me as long as it is not moving on the plate!

I made this DE-licious Grilled Vegetable and Rice Salad with Fish-Sauce Vinaigrette from bon appétit magazine.  I deviated from the recipe:

  1. I couldn’t find the red chilies, so everything ended up being green for me instead of green with specks of red.
  2. I also didn’t have any eggplant, which was a huge bummer, because we ended up using it for another dish the previous night.
  3. Fresh okra was substituted for frozen okra because there weren’t any good fresh ones at the time I went grocery shopping.
  4. The last thing is that I didn’t grill the corn on an open fire.  Instead, I baked the corn in the husk in the oven at 350 °F, directly on the oven rack, for 30 min.

Probably change #3 and 4 were fine, but the next time I make this, I will definitely get those red chilies and get extra eggplant.

I was a little hesitant to buy the fish sauce, but read the ingredient list and hoped that it was true.  The fish-sauce vinaigrette sounds pretty disgusting, and seemed like it would be once I opened that bottle of fish sauce!  Luckily my preconceptions were completely wrong—the sauce was SO delicious and even more so when the dish all came together.

(UPDATE—I MADE IT AGAIN AND IT WAS STILL REALLY TASTY!  HERE ARE THE PHOTOS FROM MY 2ND TRY.)

In hindsight, I think adding fresh tomatoes will make this dish even more lively and tastier (I am on a tomato kick right now—peak season for sweet tomatoes!  Post about this to come soon!).

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