My friend, M.A., is one of the sweetest person I’ve ever met. We have been friends for a very long time. When she got sick over the Thanksgiving holiday, she didn’t tell anyone she had a burst appendix. She was hospitalized for 3 days! This little woman did not want to worry anyone. I was speechless. I realized I had to slow things down and check on my friend.
Over the weekend, M.A. was scheduled to finally have her appendix removed. I asked her if she could have solid food after surgery and if so, what would she like to eat. I was ready to cook her anything she wanted. This foodie asked for Vietnamese lotus salad. I love that she is ready to eat and enjoy life again. But do I know how to make this kind of salad?
At first, I wasn’t sure what she was talking about. I should know right? After all, I am Vietnamese and love Vietnamese food. After asking my mom, I realized that lotus salad was something we typically eat at large parties. Hooray for party food!
A Vietnamese lotus salad contains shredded and pickled lotus roots, carrots and daikon mixed with thinly sliced steamed pork shoulder and split shrimp tossed in a sweet chili lime fish sauce and garnished with fresh mint leaves. This refreshing salad is bursting with exotic flavors. Because it takes time to prepare, this salad is usually served in bulk at family gatherings.
Here is my first attempt at making this amazing salad and it came out fantastic!
1 cup shredded lotus roots
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups shredded daikon
½ cup of chopped fresh mint
1 lb steamed and sliced pork shoulder
½ lb steamed shrimp, peeled and split in the middle
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoon fish sauce
Juice of a whole lime
3 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 fresh chili peppers, thinly sliced
- In a large bowl, combine shredded lotus roots, carrots and daikon.
- In a small bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, water and sugar. Pour it in the bowl of carrots and daikon. Let it sit for an hour.
- Make dressing by combining fish sauce, sugar and minced garlic in a small saucepan. Heat the sauce on medium until it comes to a simmer and partially caramelized. Take off heat. Add lime juice and stir the sauce. Season to taste. Add chopped chili peppers to taste. Let cool.
- Strain the lotus roots, carrot and daikon well. Do not wash.
- Add pork shoulder, shrimp, mint and dressing with the carrots and daikon.
- Toss the salad and serve chilled.
M.A. was happy she got herself a large bowl of Vietnamese lotus salad as she recovers for the next week at home. All it takes are small efforts and good food to bring people closer again.