Thursday, May 27, 2010

More Adventurous - Daikon Radish Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

When it comes to how we see ourselves, there's always the possibility of a disconnect between who we are, and who we would like to be. I would like to be a more adventurous, spontaneous person. I am in awe of people who are both of those things nearly all the time. But in reality, I know myself to be a person that is terrified of many things that might be considered adventurous. Jumping out of airplanes for example. Bungie Jumping. Anything having to do with the combination of great heights and jumping from them. Even scuba diving, which in all honesty, I would love to try someday, but the truth is, it scares me to death. I have only recently conquered my fear of snorkeling (I had issues with the idea of fish getting too close, or rather, me getting to close to them) so I'm taking this fear step by step.

When it comes to sushi, I have learned it pays to be adventurous. I know this. I've known it since I moved to the Bay Area in 2004 and my friend Derek introduced me to Uni, Sea Urchin. It took two vodka tonics to even get anywhere near the briny, alien looking form on the plate, but with the help of some liquid courage, I conquered my fear, and learned that I in fact, LOVE uni. The taste, both salty and mild, the strangely unfamiliar texture? Love. It.

After having been in a sushi rut at the delightfully cozy sushi place, Mitama, which sits exactly 1/2 block from my apartment (bliss.) I ended up there one evening after work with Leah and Lauren, and was introduced to my new favorite. I went for my usual (always 2 pieces of hamachi nigiri and one roll with maguro) and Leah ordered a Daikon Radish Salad that I had never tried. One taste and I was hooked. I spent the rest of the evening doing my best to restrain my chopsticks from bogarting her entire salad.

It struck me how easy it would be to make at home. And so that's exactly what I did. Thinly sliced daikon radish and cucumber, combined with carrot and yellow bell pepper, drenched in a sesame ginger vinaigrette. It's love between this salad and I. I'm quite sure of it.

This is not to say that I've entirely broken out of my sushi rut. This past weekend I had only added the salad to my usual. Oh well. Next time. Next time I'll find my next new favorite.

Daikon Radish Salad with Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp canola oil or grapeseed oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 large daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks
1/2 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin matchsticks
1/2 cucumber, sliced into thin matchsticks
1/4 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tsp or so toasted sesame seeds for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, whisk together the ginger, oils, vinegar and soy sauce. Peel the radish and carrot, and slice all the vegetables into thin matchsicks. Toss all the vegetables in the bowl with the vinaigrette, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with toasted sesame seeds.

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