Buraki crab salad
Originally uploaded by dynamist.
I had a few notions about how to improve upon the wasabi crab salad (another Nigella Express recipe) we had for Christmas. My last day in London seemed a good time to try them out.
As stipulated, I mixed a dressing of two tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine), one tablespoon rice wine vinegar, a few drops of sesame oil, and a quarter teaspoon of salt. But instead of wasabi horseradish, I substituted a few tablespoons of cwikla, a Polish condiment made with beetroot (buraki) and horseradish. This gave a nice, ruddy colour to the dressing, and a more complex taste.
Four teaspoons of the dressing were removed to a tiny bowl, and into the larger one containing the dressing I added about 250g of crab – 50g or so more than called for. I also stirred in a few heaping teaspoons of chopped chillies and several good glugs of hot sauce. As I tasted for heat, I was surprised at how mild it all was – so far.
I divided the crab into two small bowls, then inverted each one onto its own plate of rocket, making neat little mounds. Around the crab, I carved lumps of avocado and scattered a handful of crushed wasabi peas; I suspected the latter would add an interesting texture contrast, and I was right. Finally, the rest of the dressing and a healthy squeeze of lemon juice – instead of the stipulated lime – rained over each plate.
I would not say that I am a huge fan of crab, rocket, or avocado, but I am a massive fan of this salad. It serves two as a light lunch or four as a starter. If you’ve got the crab on hand, I’d suggest making a double batch and having it two days on the trot. Trust me, you’ll want it again soon.