Anti-Inflammation Meal: Vibrant Malay Salad
This has got to be one of the most flavorful dishes I make. Bursting with incredible colors inspired by Malaysian cuisine, it is a celebration of how the healthiest way of eating can be vibrant and exciting. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients: it’s actually very quick to make, and you can find all the components in most supermarkets. The large quantity of fresh herbs represents the concentrated sources of polyphenols known to fight inflammation; they’re a perfect balance for the heat and citrus in this delicious recipe.
For the dressing
1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
2-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, grated
2-inch piece of lemongrass (tender base only), very finely chopped
2 tsp palm sugar (or honey/maple syrup)
1 tsp fish sauce (or tamari if vegan)
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
For the salad
2 oz cherry tomatoes, diced
grated zest and juice of 1 lime
½ oz Thai basil leaves (or regular basil), roughly chopped
½ oz fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
½ oz fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
4-inch piece of rhubarb, finely diced
3 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
3½ oz brown rice noodles
1 tbsp sesame oil
10½ oz smoked tofu
1 oz sesame seeds
Mix the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl, or blitz them in a small food processor if you want the dressing to be smooth.
Toss the cherry tomatoes, lime zest, and juice into the bowl of dressing. Once combined, add the herbs, rhubarb, and spring onions.
Put the rice noodles in a saucepan of boiling water (off the heat), and cover for 5 minutes (or cook according to the packet instructions), then drain, cool, and toss through the salad.
Heat the sesame oil in a small frying pan over low-medium heat, add the tofu, and brown it on both sides until crisp on the outside and soft within. Remove from the pan and slice into 1¼-inch cubes.
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan for 30 seconds, scatter them over the salad with the fried tofu, and serve.
TIP + If rhubarb isn’t in season, just leave it out.
Read more anti-inflammation suggestions in “Ten Ways to Ease Inflammation”.
- by Rupy Aujla