We had an amazing meal this weekend at Susan Feniger’s Street
in Hollywood. Wow. It was awesome. We ate things we never knew existed; combinations that sounded super strange, but apparently sustain and delight street eaters around the world. The menu is really eclectic, so we decided to eat Asian foods, rather than mixing American/Ukranian/Egyptian tastes. The most interesting was Kaya Toast
, a Singaporean coconut jam sandwich with fried egg dipped in soy sauce and egg yolk. A new taste but yum. My favorite was definitely the Burmese Melon Salad. Fortunately, I found the recipe online and was able to replicate at home. The attractive nuisance said my version was better than the restaurant’s. Aw shucks.
I basically followed this recipe from O Magazine
, but since it didn’t include lentils (which are key!), I also consulted another Feniger recipe for Burmese Gin Thoke Melon Salad
that I also found online. The second seemed a bit more complicated (and I didn’t get kaffir lime leaves), so I decided to go with Oprah plus lentils. It’s a lot of chopping but seriously worth it. (And since I did all that work, I’m including a few extra pictures to prove it.) I recommend keeping everything separate until it’s time to eat.
Servings: Serves 4
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- 2 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup peanut oil , divided
- 1/4 cup finely chopped ginger (from a 4-inch piece)
- 1/4 cup lime juice (from about 2 limes)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 shallots , thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- Kosher salt to taste
- 3 cups melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, and/or watermelon), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/3 cup chopped peanuts , toasted
- 1/4 cup mixture of chopped basil and cilantro and mint
Note: Fish sauce is used in Southeast Asian cooking as a salty seasoning.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add coconut and toast it, stirring often, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
To make dressing: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add sesame seeds to skillet and toast, stirring constantly, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup peanut oil and ginger; cook, stirring often, until very fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large, heatproof bowl and whisk in lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar; set aside.In a medium bowl, toss shallots with flour; shake off excess flour. Heat remaining 1/4 cup peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 30 seconds. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until deep golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Line a plate with paper towels. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to plate and season with salt to taste; set aside to cool.
1 cup green lentils
4 cups water
Put the lentils and water in a small saucepot over high heat. Bring to a boil (approximately 5 minutes).Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook for 5 minutes more, or until the lentils are tender, but not mushy.Drain and rinse with cold water to chill and then add to the melon mix. Stir and set aside.
To make salad: Combine dressing, melon, peanuts, herbs, coconut, lentils (!) and shallots; salt to taste. Toss well; serve immediately.
Of course we had to eat something with our Burmese Melon Salad. Fortunately, this recipe was also included in Susan Feniger’s Street Food Menu for O Magazine. Um, yum. And easy. I happened to get oranges (and squeezed ’em) instead of actual juice. If you go the bottled juice route, this will be one of the easiest dishes you every make. I’m not a huge fan of orange flavor, but this just tasted good. Hot sesame oil can be a bit spicy, FYI.
Servings: Serves 4–6
- 1 package (8 ounces) soba noodles
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. hot sesame oil
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add soba noodles and cook until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes; drain, rinse in cold water until cool, and drain again. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring orange juice to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer gently until syrupy and reduced by half, about 15 minutes.Combine orange syrup, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and oil in a blender and mix; transfer to a large bowl. Add noodles and scallions; toss well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
And just to create more work for myself (and have a green veg), I served these up with Braised Kale