Recipe: Ginger Salad from Mister Mao

Published on: June 5th, 2023

It's hot outside, so here's a crispy, cool salad full of spicy  fun from Mister Mao. It's very different take on the salad, including fried chickpeas, tamarind chutney, currants, and sunflower seeds along with more traditional crunchy vegetables like carrots, pepper, and cabbage. As a restaurant recipe, it's pretty involved and makes everything from scratch. But there are pre-made, store-bought substitutes for many ingredients.

Mister Mao, 4501 Tchoupitoulas ,is a tropical roadhouse. "We’re quirky, eclectic, and unapologetically inauthentic, serving up locally sourced, global flavors through refined small plates. Come as you are and with an open mind."

Crunchy Bits
2 cups Red lentils soaked 3hrs, drained 1hr, fried at 300 to retain color (optional)
2 cups Chickpeas, cooked, fried at 325 until crispy
1 cup Sunflower seeds roasted with rice bran oil + kosher salt
2 cups Peanuts roasted with rice bran oil + kosher salt,

Fun Things
¼ cup Currants soaked in sherry vinegar
2 TB Chickpea flour dry roasted to a dark roux (secret ingredient--see * below)

Tamarind chutney: 
1lb dates, 1 cup ginger, 1lb prunes, 1lb Louisiana cane sugar, 16oz tamarind concentrate, 1 gallon of water
Cook dates + prunes until soft + mushy, puree, strain
(can use purchased chutney found on Amazon or Indian market)

Veggies (can use a bag of basic market coleslaw mix) feeds 12ppl-16ppl
4 cups Shaved Lunchbox sweet peppers
4 cups Shaved Red onion
3 gallon Shaved Cabbage
4 cups Shred Carrots
*Julienne Ginger
*Sliced serrano chiles
*Lots of cilantro

Mix all the things together and add salt to taste, should be spicy, sweet, crunchy, earthy

*Adding the toasted dark chickpea flour adds nuttiness and depth, keeps things gluten free, can make salad without but it’s what gives the salad some depth. (We sometimes use the chickpea flour to season steak or tuna tartares)

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