Saturday, 24 March 2012

An Unusual Salad

Something that surprises anyone getting familiar with Mexican cooking is how much they love soy sauce, Worcester sauce (or salsa tipo Inglesa as they call it) and Maggi seasoning.

They feature in drinks like micheladas; a mixture of beer with lime and some combination of the above condiments, sometimes with tomato juice or with clamato (a mixture of tomato juice and clam juice). The drinks are not something I like, but they are a good hangover cure, and I might cover the various types at some point.

Worchester sauce is used on its own as a seasoning for grilled meats, however, more unexpectedly, a combination of the three condiments is used as the basis of a crisp and refreshing salad.

There is a seafood restaurant near where I work where this salad is left in the middle of the table for diners to share.

It is comprised rounds of of sliced radish, carrot and jalapeƱo along with sliced onion and chopped corriander. The salad is dressed (or more accurately sits in a pool of) a dressing comprised of lime juice, soy, Worcester and Maggi. The relative proportions are roughly; a tablespoon of soy, a teaspoon of Worcester and a half teaspoon of Maggi for the juice of each two limes. The objective it a dressing with a balance of sour, salty and savoury.

The salad it then sprinkled with Chile Y Limon which is a type of seasoning salt with chile powder and lime which is often sprinkled on fruit here and is used to dress the rim of a michelada glass in place of salt.

The salad is hot, sour, salty, crunchy and savoury - a list of attributes one would generally associate with Thai rather tan Mexican food, in fact, aside from the absence of fish sauce and possibly some sugar this is something one would not be surprised to see in a Thai cookbook.

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