This is so easy, I’m almost embarrassed to tell you about it.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and I hope every eats and enjoys the day without worrying about calories. When I decided to post this Asian salad it brought back memories of The Christmas Story (movie) (not this recipe but Chinese food) and how the dogs got into the house, ate the Christmas turkey and the family had to go out for Chinese food for Christmas Day. Well, that won’t happen at our house but this is a great little starter appetizer/salad to serve if you are doing anything Asian.
I love small plate restaurants, especially when you order lots and lots of small plates which we did the night we ate at this Japanese bar in Northbrook, IL. and this bean sprout salad was served to us when we first sat down.
I’ve had some unusual small plates recently — pig tail in Austin at Swift’s Attic and also Pig Cheeks also from there. The Pig Cheeks were great because they were fall off the jaw tender (ha, that’s funny) and served with crispy toast that we spread with fig jam, then Dijon mustard, then the shredded braised spicy pig cheek. Yum. Blistered shishito peppers is another small plate we have tried. Even though I have made those several times (after having them in Vego, Spain) I will always order them in a restaurant. Fried Eggplant Chips with Honey Drizzle was a small plate that we had in Seville, Spain and I had to recreate it as soon as we got home. We’ve tried tripe also on a small plate; I was glad that was a small plate.
The bean sprout salad idea (small plate/bowl) I picked up from visiting Izakaya Sankyu Japanese Restaurant in Mount Prospect, IL back in the Spring. This was served to us when we first sat down (on the floor, shoes off) kind of their version, I guess, of an amuse bouche. Just about 1-2 bites and just enough to make you want more and had me thinking that I had to come up with this simple little salad recipe.
Those cute little feet belong to grandson, Oliver and he lined all the shoes up nice and neat. The boys loves this place because they get to sit on the floor.
- 4 c. mung bean sprouts
- 3 tsp. red chili pepper paste (or 1 tsp. crushed red pepper)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. agave nectar, sugar or honey
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds, crushed (I used black and white)
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame seed oil
- 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
- 2-3 green onions, green tops only, sliced very thinly
- 1/2-1 tsp. togararashi, optional
- Put the bean sprouts in cold water and discard any of the little green seeds (or peas) that float to the top. Drain.
- Bring 4-5 cups of water to boil. Blanch the bean sprouts about 2 minutes, drain and put in ice water to stop cooking. Drain in colander. Refrigerate.
- In a small bowl, stir together chili paste, salt, garlic, rice vinegar, togararashi, agave, honey or sugar, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Lightly toss the bean sprouts with the dressing to coat. Sprinkle with green onions. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Chill at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle with additional toasted sesame seeds. Sprinkle with togararashi if you have any.