Asian Inspired Salad

Warmer days are coming, and temperatures here will be in the high 60s all week this week.  I know there will be a freeze before the real spring is here, but for now it is great weather for hiking and being outside.  For a lighter meal perfect for warmer days, I have a new salad that has captured my fancy.  I cannot get enough of it!  Light and refreshing, it is a wonderful addition to a meal, or in a larger version is a meal on its own.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

This was my meal at a local Japanese restaurant, Sora, with their version of this salad.  My friend and I were sitting at the sushi bar, and the sushi chef was friendly and chatty, happy to share his recipe for the salad.

Japanese Food inspiration at From My Carolina Home

I came home knowing I couldn’t get all the ingredients used in the restaurant version, one is the bits left over from frying tempura.  But, I could come close if I really put my mind to it.  The salad is really simple, just lettuce and imitation crab meat, with some crunchy bits and a special dressing.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Since I couldn’t do tempura bits, I chose something close that would add a bit more flavor at the same time, canned fried onions.  The imitation crab meat is made from pollack fish and king crab meat with egg whites, so it is really more of a real food product than you might think.  It is also fully cooked and ready to eat right out of the package.  It freezes well, so if you cannot eat the whole package in a few days, you can freeze the sticks in smaller portions to pull out as needed.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Begin by chopping the lettuce into julienne strips.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Cut the imitation crab into strips too.  You’ll find it pulls apart into smaller strips as you cut.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Toss the crab and lettuce with the canned fried onions, proportions to your taste.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

The dressing is a sriracha mayonnaise.  This is easy to make and also to taste.  Sriracha is an Asian hot sauce made from red jalapeno peppers (the ripened form of the green ones you usually think of), garlic, vinegar, salt and sugar.  It has a different taste than the usual hot sauce, and is thicker.  To make the mayonnaise, begin with a half cup of mayonnaise, and add just a teaspoon of sriracha.  Try some, and decide if you want it a bit more spicy, you can always add more.  In this proportion, the dressing will be flavorful but not hot.  I found that I liked a bit more, and use a tablespoon sriracha to one cup mayo as my final preference.  I also found the sauce does nicely in tomato juice to zip up a Bloody Mary, LOL!!  Using a bit in any tomato sauce, or soup also adds a nice kick of flavor.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Toss the salad with dressing, serve and enjoy.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

I keep making this salad, having it for dinner by itself last week during a warm day.  I had some fresh spinach that I added, julienne cut.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

The lettuce isn’t lasting long around here now, LOL!!  I tossed two sticks of imitation crab with lettuce and spinach.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Dressed with sriracha mayonnaise, I filled my bowl for a light meal.  To make the salad gluten free, you’ll need to substitute gluten free croutons for the fried onions, as the label says there is some wheat in them.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Yum, I’ll be making this all summer!!  Light and fresh tasting, a perfect meal for a warm day.

Asian Salad

Julienne cut lettuce – about one cup
Julienne cut imitation crab – two sticks
2 tablespoons canned fried onions, more or less to taste
Julienne cut spinach – about 1/2 cup (optional)
Sriracha Mayonnaise dressing – one cup mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

Combine first three (or four) ingredients, lightly dress with Sriracha mayonnaise.  Makes one large salad for one, or side salads for two.

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home

Just for fun, if you have Netflix, there are three Japanese series that I have thoroughly enjoyed and would love to mention.  First and my most favorite, a quirky series called Samauri Gourmet, short 20-minute episodes about a newly retired man discovering the joy of dining alone.  He is a timid guy, but his Samauri alter ego shows him how to  let go of his fears and eat freely.  Hilarious and only a few episodes.  Next, Midnight Diner, also a short episode series about a diner only open from midnight to dawn, and the stories are about the people who eat there.  Lastly, Japanese Style Originator, a show with Japanese celebrities answering questions about culture and arts in Japan, with informational stories about all kinds of things from gardens to artisans to food.  All are in Japanese with subtitles.  Update – another great one is What She Put on the Table, a docudrama series about Pei Mei Fu, a pioneer in Japanese cooking.

Are you hungry for a summer salad?

Find Japanese Cookbooks on Amazon

Asian Salad at From My Carolina Home


16 thoughts on “Asian Inspired Salad

  1. Elaine Nemeth

    I have mixed one tablespoon of each. Mustard , mayonnaise and soy sauce. It is a good oriental flavor. Have a great day. Thanks for your blog. I sew or so enjoy following you.

    Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE Droid

  2. Kathleen

    Yes I AM hungry for a summer salad! Sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe. [I’m also hungry for summer; these fluctuating temps are making me sick . . . for real!]

  3. lv2bquilting2

    Carole, this sounds so good, and can’t wait to try it. I may have to adjust the amount of Sriracha, due to sensitivity problems with spicy food, but can always add more if I feel all is ok. We both enjoy Asian food and I know the DH will enjoy this recipe. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  4. Melanie

    I’m hungry for everything summer! We have an inch of snow on the ground this morning, a quick turn of cold weather. Your salad looks wonderful and I will definitely make it this summer.

  5. Gwynette in NW Arkansas

    The salad sounds good…I’m tired of the fog and drizzle and eating soups!! The salad brings thoughts of spring! I am menu planning for later when husband goes to NASCAR races and a friend and I have a major sew in. I think this can be worked into the meal plans. Thanks for the idea!!

  6. Cheryl

    Definitely going to try this salad. It’s looks and sounds so good. I really enjoyed reading about the bonsai exhibit also. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole; This does sound delicious, except…I do not do hot and spicy at all. So, I would definitely do a small amount and taste and so forth until it was to my liking. I am going to share this with one of my daughters who loves to try different dishes and loves anything that is hot and spicy. This is something that would please her taste buds and healthy eating. Thank you for sharing and have a great day!

  8. Leslie

    This salad is awesome! As soon as I read the recipe I knew it was the salad I wanted to take to a potluck lunch yesterday. You posted it just in time. Thank you. I popped out to the store to pick up the imitation crab and put this salad together in no time . . . and it was a hit! Thank you, again.

    So . . . this is getting to be a good habit. Monday I used your cosmetic bag idea for my kids’ sewing class, and yesterday this salad was on the table. This is fun! Can’t wait to see what’s next.

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