Wednesday, 23 April 2014

South East Asian Shaved Fennel Salad

It's nice when someone takes an interest in your life.  I think I've only ever been asked once on why I have such a passion for food.  It's funny, isn't it, people's interests are often just taken as a given, but it's deeply personal to everyone.  I remember when I was asked, I was taken by such surprise as I hadn't thought about it in a long time.  I hadn't thought about how emotional and..yea, just personal it was.  Hah and it was asked by this girl I barely knew.  Well, that's a story for another time.  The other day I was asked what I enjoyed other than cooking - again, few people ask that.  So this post is dedicated to my love for art.  

Why? Okay, it is related to this fennel salad.  See, this salad I had on its own but it would be lovely in a burger.  That's what I thought as I ate it, it belongs in a burger with a rich juicy patty and soft toasted buns with some mayo.  And it reminded me of this:
This was just one of the few things I played around with in university as I designed cookery class booklets for a student society.  But I don't do that anymore.
I loved art.  I loved drawing, painting and the whole array of hands-on crafty things.  It's a shame I was just never really good at it, that's why it all kind of stopped.  My creative arts teacher in school never gave my work good grades and my father never paid attention to them.  Now whenever I try to draw or paint or do the hands-on crafty things I just don't know how to start.  I lack the inspiration, I lack the dreams, I lack the abilities of a good artist.  I doodle at most now. 

In my second year at university I began designing cookery class covers for a society.  I mean, I can do some simple sketches like that now, but nothing else.  I find it difficult to pick up a pen and just draw. If you told me I had to create a design for a Spanish cooking class, then I can maybe do something, but I used to be able to just draw.  I used to go out with my sketchpad and the pages would fill with my thoughts and ideas and it would just all flow out from my brain down to the tip of my pen and all that seems so far-fetched now.  I don't know how to do that anymore.  It's so incomprehensible how anybody is able to do that.

I'm sorry that this is rather melancholy, so here's something funny as a nice transition onto this salad:
And on that lovely note: back to this salad.  It belongs in a burger, as a side to a fish, some grilled chicken or even steak.  Oh put it on a good piece of toasted sourdough bread with some mayo and slices of roast beef.  It can go with so many things.  It can also be tossed with some rice or egg noodles. Perhaps on its own as a salad with something more substantial, like eggs (hah!) or some other forms of protein. 

Sorry about the recipe - it really is just a rough guide.  I never remember how much I put of everything especially when it's like a salad dressing.

Coriander leaves
Lemongrass infused oil
Rice vinegar
Fish Sauce

Shave the fennel with a mandolin into thin slices (or like me use a vegetable peeler but it makes your life more difficult).  Roughly chop the coriander leaves and toss with the fennel in a large bowl.

Mix all the other ingredients together and then toss with the fennel and coriander leaves.


  1. From this one picture, I can see you're not half bad at drawing at all! Plus, (without wanting to sound cheesy) art is about enjoyment so if you love it you should do more of it :-) Gorgeous salad by the way, I love fennel.

    1. Aw thank you that's so nice! And i love fennel as well mmmmmm

  2. I have never tried fennel...rather it is not available here in India. I am pretty intrigued by it as a salad although I have used fennel seeds in cooking.

    1. Oh really, I suppose it is a more European thing. I grew up in China and we don't have fennel either. Oh I have a whole thing of fennel seeds in my cupboard but I rarely use it! Need to do more research on how to use it! Last time I made a fennel seed and carrot soup and that's about it haha


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