Life is full of changes, and all we can do is roll with them and ride the trail that life carves out for us. In this episode I talk about the changes happening all around us and the meat company I dreamed of starting, but never did. It was a novel idea that never caught fire, but I learned a lot in the process.
There’s also talk of the national discussion about an immigrant ban and Jose Andrés’ legal battle with Donald Trump over his restaurant that also never happened inside of the Trump International Hotel. Sometimes you simply have to stand up for what is right.
We also cook from Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites Cookbook, making Vietnamese Do Chua Salad with Nuoc Mam Cham dressing.
Do Chua Salad (courtesy of Anthony Bourdain)
In a large mixing bowl, combine 4 medium carrots, peeled and julienned, 1 large daikon radish, also peeled and julienned, one teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of sugar and toss well. Let this sit for 30 minutes, then toss the liquid that collects beneath the vegetables. Squeeze the vegetables dry with a paper towel. Rinse and dry the bowl and return the vegetables to it along with 2 more tablespoons of sugar, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and 1/4 cup of sherry vinegar. Add 3/4 cup of hot water to this, then cover and let it sit for 1 hour. This can be served immediately as a salad, or held in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
When you’re ready to serve, remove the Do Chua from the bowl with tongs to a clean mixing bowl or serving platter, leaving behind whatever brine is left. Top it with 1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced, 2 cups of crisp soy bean sprouts, and 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered. Mix this together, then top with 1 cup of fresh basil leaves, 1 cup of fresh mint leaves, and 1 cup of fresh cilantro. Taste and season with Nuoc Mam Cham (see recipe below) or Sriracha sauce.
Nuoc Mam Cham
In a small mixing bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/4 cup of water. Now add 2-3 tablespoons of Vietnamese fish sauce in increments as you continue to whisk, tasting as you go. Toss in 1 fresh Thai chili pepper finely diced, and 1 finely chopped garlic clove.