Adapted from Crossroads Cooking: The Meeting and Mating of Ethnic Cuisines from Burma to Texas in 200 Recipes, by Elisabeth Rozin.
Serves 4 to 6
An intriguing mixture of flavors characterizes this complex salad, with sweet, sour, pungent, and fruity blending in a sauce that shows its Chinese origins with soy sauce, plum sauce, and sesame oil. It makes a light but satisfying summer meal or an exotic addition to the buffet table.
1. Heat the oil in a small, heavy, nonreactive saucepan and sauté the shallots, garlic, ginger root, and chiles over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables wilt and the mixture becomes aromatic.
2. Add the plum sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, vinegar, and sugar. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring, then remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil.
3. In a bowl, combine the chicken, cabbage, and scallions. Reserve 3 to 4 tablespoons of the sauce, then mix the rest with the chicken.
4. Mound the chicken salad on the lettuce leaves on a serving plate. Surround the salad with the sliced cucumber, carrot, and daikon.
5. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the salad, then sprinkle with the chopped peanuts.
Andrea Reusing is the creator of the restaurant Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C., and author of the book Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes. In this installment of The Key 3, she shares with Lynne Rossetto Kasper the techniques behind three of her favorite recipes: Turnip Soup, Overnight Braised Short Ribs and Tomato Salad.