Salad? Shoot me.
March 3, 2008 6:34 AM   Subscribe

This salad so incredible that I considered becoming a vegetarian. Unfortunately, I can barely remember what was in it.

A few years ago I attended a cookout where a vegetarian guest brought a chilled salad with a ton of ingredients, served from a trifle dish. I remember it included:

- glassine thread noodles
- strips of tofu
- there may have been broccoli tips
- black chewy thready stuff I suspect was seaweed
- baby carrot slivers
- dressing I can only describe as sour/savory (not hot, spicy or especially sweet)

You know how sometimes a bunch of stuff in a bowl is just that, how it’s not bad but the tastes or textures don’t really compliment each other? Not this. The flavors…ohhh…the way they melded was amazing. I ate an embarrassing amount of it, intending to pin down whoever brought it. Naturally, they got away, and the hostess couldn’t remember who brought what.

This has haunted me for years. I want this salad again. I neeeeed it. But I’m not that foodie intuitive, and the results of my forays into recipe experimentation are always disappointing. If anyone out there suspects he/she has made this kickass salad with the above items, would you please share?
posted by cdadog to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like jap chae, a Korean noodle dish. Did it look like this?
posted by pullayup at 6:46 AM on March 3, 2008 [4 favorites]

The black chewy thready stuff may have been julienned wood ear mushrooms.
posted by pullayup at 6:48 AM on March 3, 2008

Maybe the dressing was rice vinegar, with sugar/honey, sesame oil, and a soy sauce? Some combination of the above is what I often throw onto a rice noodle salad.
posted by youarenothere at 9:25 AM on March 3, 2008

Response by poster: pullayup: while the noodles look similar, they could have been mung bean thread noodles. While the jap chae looks delicious, all the veggies and tofu in the lost salad were raw, and the whole thing was meant to be served cold. Whatever tangy dressing was in it had sufficiently marinated the ingredients, but the final product wasn't wet or dripping, merely moist.
posted by cdadog at 10:52 AM on March 3, 2008

Jap Chae usually IS cold, and there are a lot of variations on ingredients from chef to chef (for the record, my mom's is the best. Just so you know). It's a Korean picnic staple.

Did the salad make you want to slurp the cold noodles through your lips? Did they leave a pleasant-tasting, maybe slightly roasted oily goodness on your lips? Roasted sesame oil is usually a primary ingredient in the dressing...

Even if it WASN'T Jap Chae, try some at a Korean restaurant. You may well love it. Especially left over, straight from the fridge the next day.
posted by InfinateJane at 11:26 AM on March 3, 2008

Could it be a vegetarian pancit?
posted by annathea at 12:19 PM on March 3, 2008

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