Lotus Stem Salad
The jarred white lotus roots or stems for this crisp, tart-sweet salad can be found at many Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese markets. Be sure to buy the variety that contains no added sugar or vinegar.
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1-2 Thai chiles, stemmed and finely chopped
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 15-oz. jar lotus stems or roots, drained and rinsed
- 1 6-oz. piece cooked pork loin, cut into 1 1/2″ x 1/4″ strips
- 1⁄3 lb. cooked medium shrimp (about 20 shrimp), peeled, tails on
- 2⁄3 cup Pickled Carrot and Daikon
- 10 jarred pickled shallots, rinsed and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1⁄4 cup roughly chopped rau rãm (Vietnamese coriander) or cilantro leaves
- 2 tbsp. roughly chopped tender Chinese celery leaves or regular celery leaves (optional)
- 1⁄3 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Make the dressing: Combine fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and chiles in a small bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set dressing aside.
- Make the salad: Halve lotus stems crosswise and quarter them lengthwise, transfer to a large bowl, and cover with water; soak for 2 minutes. Drain lotus stems and transfer to a large bowl. Add pork, shrimp, pickled carrot and daikon, pickled shallots, rau rãm or cilantro, celery leaves (if using), and peanuts. Toss salad with the reserved dressing and season with salt and more fish sauce and lime juice, if you like. Transfer salad to a platter, leaving excess dressing in the bowl.