Well, it’s blazing hot here on Okinawa. Pair the heat with the high humidity and it’s like a non-stop sauna. Wahhh! My husband is REALLY enjoying this weather, but it’s making me a lot bit cranky. I’ve been looking for ways to keep cool and keep my pitta nature under control. Ding ding ding! Cooling, refreshing salad!
I went to the local farmers market and came back with a bunch of summer veggies that I wanted to experiment with. You’ll probably be seeing some of these in upcoming posts. I’ll be using Okinawa varieties of produce, but I’ll list substitutions next to the ingredients in case you don’t have access to the same produce. I’ve also included picture of these ingredients and the label in case you are in Japan.
For the salad:
1 package of Mizuna- a bitter, peppery green. Substitute with a blend of lettuce and arugula.
1 medium Mooui – Okinawan yellow cucumber. Substitute 4 regular cucumbers. Yes, 4!
1 Myoga- Japanese ginger. Substitute green onion tops.
2-4 Shiso leaves- Mint and Basil flavored leaf. Substitute 2-3 lemon basil or peppermint leaves.
Peel the yellow skin off the mooui and chop into bite-sized pieces. Cut off the roots from the mizuna then chop. Thinly dice the myoga and shiso, then mix these well with the mizuna and mooui.
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sesame seed
1 tsp Okinawan brown sugar (substitute sucanat or brown sugar)
1 tsp mirin
3 tbsp ponzu sauce (you can mix soy sauce and citrus if you don’t have ponzu)
In a food processor or blender, add dressing ingredients and blend briefly to combine. Pour over salad and serve right away.
The bitter taste is perfect for summer since it’s light, cooling and dry. It’s also detoxifying and lightens tissues. The bitter taste is also helpful for reducing water retention, skin rashes and burning sensations.
Pitta-Substitute sesame oil for coconut milk and reduce the sesame seeds to half if you’re feeling too hot this summer
Kapha- Use honey instead of the brown sugar