At Le Cordon Bleu, we have been studying cuisines across cultures. Learning the history and geography behind foods and wines from different countries has been an eye opener. Ever wonder why Asian foods don’t use dairy products in their foods? It’s because of their warm climate and historically, they used their livestock only to work their farmland. In colder climates like Germany, you will see more dairy, stews, heavy meat dishes, cheeses, milk or creamy sauces and other fats to keep warm. In Asia, no milk, cream or cheese is used. Only meat, broth, rice, fresh spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits.
Dua Chua or Carrot and Daikon Salad is a refreshing, colorful salad that is briefly marinated then flavored with fresh herbs. The porous Daikon (found in Asian markets) absorb flavors well. Combine the marinade with mint, Thai basil, and cilantro, and you will tickle the pallet with notes of salt, sweet, savory, and tart. It’s a wonderful side to have with a meaty main dish.
After letting salted julienned cut carrots(4 oz), and Daikon(4 oz) drain in a colander for a hour, rinse, squeeze dry then boil 1 oz of sugar, 1/4 oz of fish sauce, 2.5 oz rice wine vinegar and 2 oz of water in a pan, cool to room temperature, then marinate carrots and Daikon for an hour. Before serving, drain, paper towel dry any marinade, toss with fresh mint, Thai basil, and cilantro and serve. It’s perfect for a hot summer night. (This is a cut recipe, just enough for 2-4 people, depending on how many other things you are serving)