Every now and then I find an ingredient that throws me into a whirlwind of inspiration. I found these beautiful black string beans at the store, which made me think of a salad nicoise, which is a traditional french salad made of eggs, tuna, green beans, olives and anchovies. I knew I had to make something insane with these insane beans which reminded me of hijiki, an almost black looking seaweed used in Japanese cuisine. You can probably see where this is going…you guessed it. I made a Japanese Salad Nicoise! Now this isn’t just a throw together, grab and go kinda thing. It involves quite a bit of prep, but the reward is the most beautiful salad you will ever eat. You will need the following elements:
- Pink pickled radishes (thinly slice about four radishes in a 50/50 solution of rice vinegar and warm water for a minimum of 12 hours in the fridge. Make sure you add some sea salt and honey and a couple pieces of red cabbage to make it pink.)
- 2 soy eggs (soak hard boiled eggs in a 50/50 mixture of soy sauce and water. Add a generous squeeze of honey as well. Marinate for a minimum of two hours.)
- Yellow carrot strips
- Black string beans (blanched for just a few seconds)
- Green onion
- Crispy Taro Chips (boil two taro roots for about 18 minutes or until you can poke a fork through. Peel off skin and slice into discs. Coat in oil and salt. Bake for 10 mins on 350F and then broil for 8 minutes flipping halfway in between.)
I made a simple dressing of sesame oil, rice vinegar and soy sauce. It definitely does the trick! This salad has a lot of interesting textures happening and I love it! The taro chips are kind of like a crunchy crouton, the pickled radish is like that burst of vinegar you would get from the olive and soy eggs are sweet and salty bites. Yum!