Can you feel it? Summer’s here and refreshing salads are in order. Unfortunately, salads are often thought of as lacking in imagination–a bunch of greens and the usual oil and vinegar dressing–when they can actually be incredibly fun, flavorful, and filling. With the right ingredients, salads can be your favorite go-to as the temperatures rise.
Salads can incorporate a variety of fresh ingredients abundant this season, like greens, fruits, along with nuts, grains, and seeds, to create delicious and nutrient-dense dishes without breaking a sweat. At Starter Sisters, we like to get even more creative with our salads with the addition of our home-made ferments, which you already have in your fridge. Ferments not only enhance the flavors, add funk in lieu of fish sauce typical in Asian salads, and of course amp up their nutritional value. Here are four recipes to try:
1. Coconut Mango Salad
Using fermented french beans, this is an adaptable recipe, where you can swap sweet pineapple tidbits for the mango cubes. You can also add cucumber and pomelo. Instead of cutting the buko meat into cubes, you can shred it then use shredded green mangoes, carrots, and singkamas (jicama). Make a light but filling dish out of it with fried or steamed tofu and blanched togue (beansprouts). Garnish with mint and roasted peanuts. You can definitely make (and keep!) friends with this salad, so give this recipe a try.
2. Kimchi Sotanghon Salad
While this riff of bibim guksu uses sotanghon noodles (which is more affordable and more accessible here), you can use the thin wheat noodles or even quick-cooking angel hair pasta. You can garnish this cold dish with sweet adobo-style shiitake mushrooms and pickled radish. You can also roll it up in lettuce leaves or nori seaweed with julienned cucumbers and eat like a wrap. As a fairly spicy dish, you can dial down the heat of the kimchi sotanghon salad by using a smaller amount of gochujang (or dial it up by adding more). Get this filling noodle salad here and make your own vegan kimchi ahead here.
3. Ensaladang Pinya at Pipino (Pineapple and Cucumber Salad)
Treat yourself to one of the most effortless yet flavor-packed salads you can make. Using fermented french beans and its brine, this oil-free pineapple cucumber salad is sweet, sour, salty, with a little beat of heat and savory umami. This dish is very fresh and quite healthy! Check it out here.
4. Vegan Tuna and Sauerkraut Salad
This salad is a great option for a light but hearty meal. Thanks to the chickpeas (that we recommend you soak and sprout to improve the nutrient bioavailability of the beans), it packs a nutritional punch with fiber and plant-based proteins–and of course the sauerkraut. This salad can be enjoyed on its own, or served as a finger food, whether on crunchy croutons, in sandwiches, or in lettuce cups. Great for the lunch box and when you’re entertaining, check out the salad recipe here and make your own sauerkraut here.
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