Foodiva's Kitchen: Cucumber-Rambutan Julienne Salad with Baked Lotus Chips

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cucumber-Rambutan Julienne Salad with Baked Lotus Chips

With the weather in the tropics being what it is (blazing!), every day is an occasion to eat a refreshing salad to cool things down. For this particular julienne salad, I didn't have to think very hard - not very. What vegetable is cooler than a cucumber, anyway? No brainer, Cuke's clearly the salad Hero. What's more Zen than a lotus root? Well, Lotsy just became Cuke's reliable sidekick. LOL. Are these ingredients starting to sound like some characters I'm inventing for a comic strip? Well, I don't know how it got there, but no, I'm describing my tropical salad: Cucumber-Rambutan Julienne Salad with Baked Lotus Chips.

Cucumber-Rambutan Julienne Salad with Baked Lotus Chips
1 cucumber, peel skin and make into julienne strips
4-5 rambutans, peel and remove seed
1 lotus root, peel and slice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons biryani spice powder
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns, cracked
1 lime

Now, the rambutans. The season for these red, hairy fruits has just started over here. Sweet, juicy and thoroughly addictive, rambutans are quite irresistable and during season, many of its fans will develop painfully sore throats. Yep, very heaty, those dang fruits! They look and taste enticing but an overdose of rambutans can potentially make you feverish. By too much, I mean if you ate a whole bunch all by yourself! If this salad was a James Bond movie, then the rambutan must surely be the Miss Moneypenny. Discreet, but you know she's there. Sweet, but yeah, just watch out for your throat!



Okay, I admit that the post title may be a bit of an overkill because the only julienne part of this salad is the cucumber (sans skin). Using a potato peeler, I carefully stripped away long, thin strips of translucent cucumber flesh along its length, stopping just short of the seedy core. Added a sprinkling of salt to the cucumber to draw the moisture out, although on hindsight, I could've just left it as it was and the dish would've been equally wonderful. After about 5 minutes, I squeezed and drained the cucumber water. Peeled and pitted a couple of rambutans, tore them into small pieces and added those into the cucumber bowl. Squeezed lime juice and sprinkled freshly cracked peppercorns over the whole thing, and we were ready to rock! Hang on a sec, have I forgotten something??


Ah yes, the lotus root. It turned out that Lotsy had its own thing going on while I was busy with Cuke and Moneypenny! Cut the root into 1/8" slices and parboiled these for about 4 minutes to soften them up. Drained and dried the slices with a paper towel, before coating them in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. You can season yours with salt, cajun pepper or other favourite spices. Mine, I sprinkled with some biryani spice powder and with breadcrumbs, for that extra ooomphh, you know. Then placed the 'chips' on an unlined baking tray and baked at 175C for 20 minutes, turning over once after 10 minutes. I loved, loved, loved Lotsy as the crispy, flavourful sidekick to cool Cuke and his Moneypenny.


To bring out the flavours of cucumber and rambutan, I added a dash of green lime and freshly cracked peppercorns. Nyummm.... I can't even begin to describe how this tasted, and how sublime the textures were...*long dreamy sigh*.

If you do try making this heroic salad and can't get any rambutans (not even canned ones?) where you're at, then sheez, throw in some other fruit!


Torviewtoronto said...

looks delicious lovely tropical fruits

Ela said...

hey this is great. rambutan is in season now!
can't wait to try it.

here's something to make your salad cooler, am passing to you the VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD...

lishapisa said...

I love you creation! sweet and cooling flavors with the fun crunch from the lotus crisps.
Perfect for the hot weather.
Thank you,
CookNg Sisters

Subterfuge Diva said...

Torviewtoronto - Thanks. I love your raspberry muffins too! They look fab!

Ela - Hi! Wow, you just presented me with my very first Award, I'm so excited! Will make sure it's up and of course, will link my post to your site. Thank you, you just made my day, Ela!

Lisa - Thanks for coming by, and for your lovely comments. We seem to eat these - cucumber, rambutans and lotus root - around here all the time, but never all together like this! It's a nice change, and yes, it's a pretty cool salad for a hot day.

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