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Friday, June 4, 2010

Asian Tuna Salad

This recipe was my own creation, slightly inspired by a salad I ordered on a recent trip to Milwaukee to visit my grandparents. That salad was called the "Crunchy Asian Salad" or something similar and was described as vegetables with chicken and a peanut dressing. I wasn't expecting the vegetables to essentially be a large pile of cole slaw, but I liked it nonetheless and set out to recreate a similar version at home.

I'm pleased with what I came up with, although next time I'll add more peanut butter to the peanut sauce. I want a stronger peanut flavor! This salad is easily adaptable to what you have in your kitchen--you could do chicken instead of tuna, add water chestnuts, top with bean sprouts, or whatever else you can think of. One of my favorite parts of cooking is experimenting with different combinations. I try to only go crazy when I'm only feeding Ryan, he's usually willing to put up with my sometimes less than stellar results :)

Asian Tuna Salad
*serves 3-4; I made 24 hrs in advance and refrigerated until serving

-1/2 head cabbage
-1 red bell pepper
-3 carrots
-2 handfuls kale
-2 cans tuna in water, drained
-1/2 cup peanuts

Peanut Sauce:
-1/2 cup peanut butter
-2 tbsp lime juice
-1/2 tbsp hot chile sesame oil
-1 tbsp soy sauce
-dash of rice vinegar
-generous sprinkle of ginger

1. Shred or chop all vegetables (cabbage, kale, carrots, bell pepper). (I used my food processor for all of them). Add vegetables and tuna to a large bowl.
2. Microwave peanut butter for 1 minute until thinned. Add additional ingredients through ginger. Add as much water as needed until desired thinness.
3. Pour dressing over ingredients. Stir to mix well. Top with peanuts.
4. Refrigerate at least one hour, or overnight. Serve alone, atop spinach, or in a wrap.