I love unusual ingredients! For me a trip to an Asian grocery store is always an adventure. It stimulates creativity and allows you to expand your culinary and gustatory vocabulary.
In this recipe I used Japanese ingredients that can easily be substituted with western ones. I encourage you, however, to check the local Asian supermarkets and get as many original ingredients as possible.
for the salad
- 1 large bunch purple spinach (about 3 cups to fill up a large salad bowl)
- 3 kuri or Japanese cucumbers, sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp hemp seeds for garnish
- freshly ground black pepper to taste, optional
for the dressing
- 2 Tbsp freshly grated wasabi root
- juice of 2 green, unripe yuzu
- 1 tsp green yuzu zest
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup coconut water
- 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
- Toss all salad ingredients (except the hemp seeds) into a salad bowl and set aside.
- Using a blender make a vinaigrette out of the dressing ingredients. If it turns too thick, add a little coconut water and blend again. Adjust taste to your personal liking.
- Transfer the dressing to your salad bowl and mix gently.
- Serve salad on individual salad plates, garnish with hemp seeds. Add freshly ground black pepper and enjoy in good company!
Tip: As I mentioned in the introduction, you can replace all the ingredients if you cannot find an Asian store near you. Instead of purple spinach use baby spinach. Add a tablespoon of grated beets to obtain the healthy purple pigment. Use English cucumber if you cannot get kuri. To make dressing use limes and either wasabi paste or powder. Start with a small amount, taste the mixture and add more if you want to. If you cannot find wasabi in any form, use grated horseradish.
A few words about yuzu and wasabi. Both ingredients are quite amazing and they harmonize perfectly in this fruity and yet tangy dressing.
Wasabi is one of the healthiest foods we know. Like cabbage, broccoli, mustard greens and horseradish, wasabi is a member of the Brassicaceae family that is known for its anti-cancer properties. Wasabi contains antioxidant compounds called isothiocynates (ITCs) that help the liver to detoxify cancer causing toxins. Wasabi has strong anti-microbial properties, it has the capacity to reduce inflammation in the body and to improve cardiovascular health. Wasabi is high in fiber; vitamins such as the vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and vitamin B6; and minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
Yuzu is a citrus fruit that was originally cultivated in the Yangtse River region of China. The fruit was introduced to Japan during the Nara period (around 710 A.D.) where it was grown as a culinary delicacy, as well as a medicine. To this day the whole ripe yuzu fruits are used for therapeutic baths. The aroma is very relaxing, but the essential oil of yuzu also contains a compound called nomilin that helps improve the blood circulation.
Yuzu has three times as much vitamin C as lemon and the highest amount of bioflavonoids (vitamin P) among the citrus fruits.
In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique
*Information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.