Due to its long, cold winters and hot, dry summers, Xinjiang is not renowned for its vegetable dishes, but fast-growing produce like spinach and cilantro often make it to the table during the brief respites between seasons. This refreshing salad is a perfect to accompaniment to fatty grilled meats. Use the most delicate cilantro you can find, so the stems can be eaten along with the leaves.
Recipe adapted from All Under Heaven.
Featured in: Eating on the Western Edge of China
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1⁄2 tsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1⁄2 cup toasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 1 bunch cilantro, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 1 cup minced red bell pepper (about half of a medium pepper; stem, pith, and seeds removed)
- In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, salt, and sugar. Slowly whisk in the sesame oil, then add the peanuts, sesame seeds, cilantro, and red pepper. Toss to combine, transfer the salad to a platter, and serve immediately.