Chinese fish salad … lettuce, noodles, condiments Essay

Chinese fish salad . . . lettuce, noodles, condiments

An unusual blending of crisp textures and sweet-tart flavors gives
this adaptation of a Chinese fish salad its appeal. It’s made with
very fresh fish marinated in lemon juice to gently “cook’ it
much like Mexican ceviche. The fish is combined with crisp noodles,
shredded lettuce, and lively condiments to make a refreshing light

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Several ingredients that give this salad its intriguing flavor can
be found in Asian markets or some well-stocked supermarkets. Dry bean
thread noodles (they look like fishing line) puff when dropped in hot
oil, adding a delightful crisp texture. Pickled ginger, sold in thin
slices or slivers and sometimes colored red, contributes a zesty flavor

Chinese Fish Salad

1 pound boned and skinned lean mild fish fillets such as rockfish or sole

1/4 cup lemon juice

Salad oil

2 ounces dry bean thread noodles

3 tablespoons sesame seed

10 cups (about 1 1/2 lb.) shredded iceberg lettuce

1/2 cup thinly slivered green onions

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 cup pickled shallots, cut into thin slivers (optional)

1/4 cup pickled ginger, cut into thin slivers

Lemon-honey dressing (recipe follows)

Rinse fish fillets; pat dry. Cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick
slices. Place in a small bowl and mix with lemon juice. Cover and
chill, stirring occasionally, until fish is opaque throughout, at least
2 hours or up to 12 hours.

Meanwhile, in a 3- to 4-quart pan, heat about 1 inch salad oil to
375|. Tear bean threads apart into 4 to 6 small handfuls. Add a
handful of dry noodles to oil, pushing them into the oil and tuning
until they are all puffy and crisp, about 30 seconds. Lift out with a
wire strainer or slotted spoon. Drain noodles on paper towels. Repeat
until all are fried. Cool. (If made ahead, store airtight up to 2

In a 6- to 8-inch frying pan, cook sesame seed over low heat,
stirring oftern until seeds are toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool. (If
made ahead, store airtight at room temperature up to 2 days.)

When fish is opaque, drain off juice and reserve for dressing.
Place lettuce in a wide shallow bowl or platter. Top with fish, green
onions, cilantro, shallots, ginger, sesame seed, and fried noodles.
Pour the lemon-honey dressing over salad and mix. Serve at once.
Serves 6 to 8.

Lemon–honey dressing. Mix lemon juice reserved from marinated
fish, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons salad oil, 2 to 3
tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon sesame oil
or salad oil, 3/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel, and 1 clove garlic,
pressed or minced.

Photo: Fish fillets are basis of this salad. To serve, assemble
fried noodles, fish, and other condiments on a bed of shredded lettuce,
drizzle with tangy dressing, and mix


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