Peanut and tannic greens

Peanut and tannic greens

Green Pickled Peaches
Chris Chen

I was remembering the potluck nature of some of our family banquets. I felt a salad of greens with the addition of a number of interesting textures would be a good foil for the richly flavoured dishes competing against each other for attention at those family feasts ... in particular, when satays were served.

For the spiced salt


Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon aniseed
1 dried chilli, seeds removed, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt

For the peanut tofu

Quantity Ingredient
80g raw peanuts
250ml filtered water
50g potato or kuzu starch

For serving

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 bunch leaf amaranth, washed, stem and leaf kept in one piece, (see glossary), plus a few baby leaves to garnish
3 tablespoons wild rice
50g roasted peanuts, roughly ground
1 handful coriander sprigs
1 large handful bean sprouts, roots trimmed, blanched and refreshed
1 handful thai ba sil leaves
1 lime


  1. Make the spiced salt:
  2. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Toast the coriander seeds, cumin and aniseed on a tray in the oven for 10 minutes until fragrant. Grind to a fine powder with the chilli and salt.
  3. Make the peanut tofu:
  4. In a blender or food processor, finely process the peanuts with the water until a fairly smooth milk forms. Strain through muslin into a jug. You will need 420 ml of milk. In a small bowl mix some of the milk with the starch. Beat until totally smooth, then stir it back into the milk. Pour into a saucepan and cook over medium–high heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes. It will thicken and have large, stretchy bubbles. Keep scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. Taste to check that the uncooked starchiness has gone and then remove from the heat and stir for 2 minutes. Line a shallow baking tray with plastic wrap and spray with water. Pour in the tofu and leave at room temperature to set.
  5. Assemble the dish:
  6. Heat a frying pan over high heat and swirl with the oil. Fry the amaranth in small batches for a couple of seconds each batch, just long enough for it to wilt (any more, and it will become really soft and tannic). Season with a little of the spiced salt. Deep-fry the wild rice in 180°C oil for a few seconds until puffed up. Drain on paper towels. Take teaspoonfuls of the peanut tofu and toss in the ground peanuts. Place the ingredients for the salad together in a serving bowl: the amaranth, wild rice, peanut tofu, coriander sprigs, beans sprouts and basil leaves. Squeeze the juice of the lime over this and sprinkle with more spiced salt. Conceived to accompany satay and satay sauce.
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