I am starting a new category on Five Flavours called “Inspired by” because so much of what I eat is inspired by the amazing ingredients I’ve learnt about from all over the world, but doesn’t exactly fit under any authenticity labels.
This salad is inspired by Korean kim-chee, a wonderful probiotic, and Indian bean salads. This is the kind of salad I discover by accident when I am searching the kitchen for something I can make quickly for lunch. Here’s my thing, I pick something up from the cupboard or fridge, stare at it and think “What will make you into a meal?”. And then it almost always comes to me like magic! But, of course, you do need to keep a well-stocked cupboard with spices, sauces and other non-perishables for this to work well.
So today, while staring down the pot of kim-chee, I remembered how well beans go together with chillies and lo and behold there was a tin of beans hiding in my kitchen. Of course, you could use beans that you soak and cook yourself and you’d be far better off, but this was an emergency. When I need lunch, I need it now! Here’s what I did.
1.5 cups of cooked beans such as borlotti (or one tin)
1 tomato, chopped
1-2 tablespoons of roasted peanuts
1 handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
1-2 teaspoons of sesame seeds
2-3 tablespoons of kim-chee depending on how spicy you like it
1 teaspoon of Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
Just mix it all up in a bowl and wait a moment or two for the flavours to develop. You can add salt, but usually the kim-chee is salty enough not to need it.
Serves one hungry writer or maybe two or three as a side-dish.