My sister prepared this delicacy for me when I visited last month. Her version uses apples instead of jicama. I love the sweet and tangy taste of the shrimp paste dressing combined with the varied texture of fruits, vegetables, and Chinese crullers. I rarely eat salad, but this is one salad I will eat often if I can afford the time to prepare it.
- Prep time: 1.5 hours (bulk of it goes into picking the beansprouts and cutting pineapples)
- Serves: 4
For shrimp paste dressing:
- 3 Tbsp shaved gula melaka (coconut sugar)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp shrimp paste (hay ko)
- 4-5 Tbsp tamarind water (1 walnut-size tamarind mixed with 3 oz hot water, strained) or lime juice
For the salad:
- 1 large apple, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups fresh pineapple slices
- 1 cup beansprouts, blanched and drained
- 2 cups cucumber slices
- 2 Chinese crullers
- 4 squares fried spongy bean curd, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup ground roasted peanuts
- Mix the dressing ingredients in a large bowl with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Toss remaining ingredients except Chinese crullers, fried bean curd, and peanuts with dressing.
- Stir in Chinese crullers and fried bean curd.
- Sprinkle with ground peanuts.
- Bulk of my preparation time goes into picking the roots off the beansprouts and cutting fresh pineapple. I will not compromise by just throwing beansprouts out of the packaging into the dressing or using canned pineapples.
- Prepare multiple servings of the dressing and store in the refrigerator so that they are ready to use the next time.
- Get roasted peanuts by the pound. Grind them up in the blender and store in the refrigerator. Ground peanuts is a key ingredient in many Singaporean desserts and snacks. Keep it handy.