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Japanese Salad

Its warm and sunny and feels like summer so I took this dish to our lovely neighbours last night. Not strictly a canapé I suppose, but definitely good for your 5 a day. The Japanese-style dip, which is based on a Jennifer Joyce dressing, is totally delicious. As well as a canapé, it can be a dressing on a crunchy salad starter. Add a griddled piece of tuna or chicken and it can also be a healthy main.

You will need a blender to make the dip.


Salad and raw vegetables (I used avocado, carrot, celery, cucumber, radishes, baby cherry tomatoes, avocado and baby sugar snap peas)

1 iceberg lettuce For the dip:

Juice of 1 lime

10 gms onion, chopped

15 gms ginger, chopped

1 sticks of celery, chopped

2 tbsp mirin or rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp water


Put all the dip ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. This can be stored for a day or so in the fridge.

Cut the iceberg lettuce in half. Remove some of the outer leaves to neaten and ease out some of the middle leaves to make a bowl (see picture).

A few hours before serving, cut the tomatoes in half and spear with bamboo skewers. Do the same with the radishes.

Peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut even-size matchsticks. Peel the carrots and make matchsticks of the same size. Ditto the celery.

Trim the sugar snaps. Halve the avocado, take out the stone. Quarter and peel off the skin. Cut each quarter into long strips. Keep the avocado in cling film (or milk – see Zingy Pork recipe) until required.

Place the iceberg bowl in the centre of a large plate and arrange the vegetables around it. Keep covered with damp kitchen towel in the fridge until required.

10 minutes or so before ready to serve, take out of the fridge and pour the dip into the iceberg bowl and eat.

If serving as a salad starter, try stacking the salad vegetables, shredding the lettuce and grating the carrots. Only add 1/2 a chopped celery stick to make the dressing (the extra in the dip keeps it from being too liquid). Serve the dressing in a jug as its taste is far superior to its appearance.

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