Indonesian green vegetable salad with coconut dressing recipe image

Print Indonesian green vegetable salad with coconut dressing

This vegetable salad makes a lovely light lunch, especially eaten with some hard-boiled eggs. The dried shrimp paste (blachan) in the coconut dressing has quite a strong, fishy taste and can be omitted if you prefer or can't source it (try an Asian supermarket). It's important to keep tasting the dressing to check that it has the right balance of sweet and sour for your liking.

Ingredients

  • 450g mixed green vegetables, such as French beans, Chinese cabbage, Hispi cabbage or spinach
  • ¼-½ cucumber
  • Mint leaves, shredded, to garnish
  • for the dressing:
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded & chopped
  • 1cm piece of blachan (dried shrimp paste), if available
  • Juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Sea salt

Method

  1. Blanch French beans in boiling water for 2–3 minutes until just cooked. Drain and then rinse immediately in cold water to retain the colour. Shred cabbage and spinach, but not too finely, blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain. Refresh in cold water and drain again. Cut the cucumber into 2.5cm lengths and then cut each chunk into 10 pieces.
  2. For the dressing put the coconut and 150ml water in a pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. In a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic and chilli to a paste with the blachan, if using, then mix in the coconut. Add the lemon or lime juice, plus sugar and salt to taste.
  3. Transfer the dressing to a large bowl, then add the prepared vegetables. Toss well and serve sprinkled with the shredded mint.
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