Tempeh, Corn and Green bean salad
This colourful salad has several unusual Japanese ingredients, including arame seaweed, tempeh and umeboshi vinegar. They are widely available in health food stores. We encourage you to find them and give them a try; it is worth it for the delicious nourishing result. If one or two ingredients are missing invent your own variation… salads are fun to play with!
For those who prefer not to use soy products, you could replace the tempeh with firm white fish or chicken.
Tempeh is more digestible and nutritious than tofu because it is a fermented food. Another good reason to eat fermented soy products is a reduction in phytates. In unfermented soy products like soy milk and tofu intake phytates can inhibit mineral absorbtion, so we tend to eat tofu occasionally.
1 cob fresh corn (or one small can corn kernels)
150g fresh green beans, trimmed at cut in 3cm lengths
½ block (125g) tempeh
2 tsp rice bran oil
¼ cup arame seaweed (dried)
Cover arame with about 1 cup of water. Leave to soak while preparing other ingredients.
Break corn cob in half. Blanch corn and green beans separately.
How to blanch: Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a couple of teaspoons of salt. Keep the heat high and add vegetables. After several minutes test a piece. When cooked but still firm and crunchy to bite, drain in a colander in the sink. Immediately transfer to a large bowl. Put the bowl back in the sink and cover the vegetables with cold water Leave them in the water until they feel cool.
Stand each corn piece on its end on a chopping board. Slice off the kernels with downward cuts close the core. Place corn in a bowl and use fingers to break apart the kernels.
Slice tempeh in half to make two flat, thin pieces. Heat rice bran oil in a small frypan over a moderate heat. Fry tempeh on each side until golden brown. When cool slice into thin strips.
Drain the arame and discard soaking water (this seaweed water is great food for pot plants by the way).
Mix corn, beans, tempeh and arame in a bowl. Add about 5 tablespoons of Umeboshi Dressing to taste. Mix everything well and serve.
Umeboshi Dressing¼ cup olive oil
1 Tbsp umeboshi vinegar (or 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar)
½ T wholegrain mustard
1 small clove garlic, chopped fine
Put all the dressing ingredients into a small jar. Shake well.