Secret Recipe: Burma SuperStar's Rainbow Salad


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This one comes courtesy of Burma SuperStar, a dish of many elements (which can be found at local Asian markets) that’s as pretty as it is delicious. Ideal to make for friends or a potluck, plate the ingredients separately and put the dressing on the side until you’re ready to eat, then use your hands to mix (they say it brings out the flavors of each ingredient even more)—consider it your party trick. 

Rainbow Salad

Serves 2-4

2 teaspoon dried shrimp, ground

2 cups canola oil

3 cloves garlic, sliced and fried

1/2 medium onion, julienned (1/4 keep raw, 1/4 to be fried)

2 wonton sheets, fried (2 square sheets cut into 4-5 strips)

2 teaspoon red chili flakes, roasted

1/4 cup green papaya, julienned

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped coarsely

1/4 cup carrot, julienned

1/4 piece firm tofu
, pan fried

1/4 cup tomato, diced

1/3 cup potato, cooked and diced

1 cup cabbage, julienned

1/2  cup bean thread noodles, blanched

1/2  cup cooked flour noodles

1/2  cup thin rice noodles

1/2  cup thick rice noodles

1. Ground the dried shrimp almost to a powder form with a food processor. It might be difficult to grind up such a small amount of dried shrimp, so you can grind up about one cup’s worth and add more to the salad or save it for next time. Ground shrimp stores well. 

2. Heat up canola oil in a small frying pan on medium heat.

3. Fry the sliced garlic until golden. Remove.

4. Using the same oil, fry the sliced onion until golden. Remove.

5. Using the same oil, fry wonton strips until lightly golden. Remove.

6. Remove the oil and reserve it for the dressing (see recipe below).

7. Use the remaining oil left on the bottom of the pan to fry the firm tofu on all sides until golden. Let it cool and cut it into cubes.

8. Roast the red chili flakes on a pan for 2-3 minutes. This will help bring out the aroma.

9. In a big bowl, put in all the fresh ingredients with the cooked ingredients.

10. Drizzle dressing over ingredients as needed and toss.

Chef’s note: Don’t be shy to mix the salad with your hands! In fact, this salad is called “Hand Tossed Salad” in Burmese.



4 tablespoon garlic and onion oil (reserved from recipe above)

2 teaspoon yellow bean powder, toasted

1 knob tamarind paste

1/2 cup hot water

2 teaspoon fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1. Toast the yellow bean powder lightly in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes.

2. Combine tamarind paste and 1/2 cup of hot water in a bowl. Mix well and drain out the juice with a small strainer.  

3. Add in the garlic and onion oils, fish sauce, salt, sugar, and yellow bean powder, and mix well. Depending how you like your dressing, you can always add more tamarind if you want it more tart or more fish sauce if you want it saltier.

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