This salad was born out of a craving for carrots of late. Unable to get enough, I’m eating carrot in all forms lately, and especially loving the plank-cut style, cooked to al-dente. Coming into Spring, I am conscious to boost immunity – which is quite ironic because as I write this, I’m laid up in bed with some sort of bug. We can help ourselves in Spring by protecting the Lungs – the governor of immunity – and by regulating the Liver – the governor of Qi. Dark green, chlorophyll rich foods are the perfect tonic for both.
Why is change of seasons, and in particular, Spring, a time when we tend to get struck down? If you look at the qualities of Spring outlined in the graphic below, it is a time where the wind climate dominates. In Chinese Medicine, wind is a carrier of pathogens into the body, usually in the form of wind-cold or wind-heat, which we know in Western Medicine terms as the common cold. What defines them is certain characteristics; the obvious being a dislike of cold (wind-cold) or dislike of heat (wind-heat) among other things. This differentiation is important when treating in Chinese Medicine, since we will either use cooling or heating herbs along with those that “release the exterior” which loosely translates to opening pores to let pathogen out of the body.
This Japanese-inspired carrot salad combines nori, spring onions and shiitake which all are on our side by naturally protecting the immune system and powerfully detoxing the body. Not to forget, carrots are off the scale in Vitamin A and full of antioxidants. Combining both orange and purple carrots are a delight for the eyes, while also being a huge benefit for eye function and are a double whammy of coloured phytonutrients. The humble carrot really is a super food in its own right.
Warm Carrot & Nori Salad
2 x orange carrots, sliced into planks
2 x purple carrots, sliced into planks
1/4 sheet nori, finely sliced
1 x dried shiitake mushroom, rehydrated and thinly sliced
2 x spring onions, finely sliced
toasted sesame oil – to taste
1 x Tbls plum wine vinegar or mirin
1 x tsp shoyu
1. Steam carrot planks until al-dente; tender yet with a bite
2. Put dressing ingredients into a mixing bowl
3. After carrots are cooked and while still warm, add them to a bowl with other salad ingredients
4. Mix through with your (clean) hands and serve sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds