Monday, 16 March 2015

My Brother's Salad Dressing


Today I am giving away my brother's secret recipe. hah..hah... I have two brothers. There are three of us in the family and I am the eldest. Let's call younger brother no. 1 YB1 and younger brother no. 2 YB2.

YB1 is married with two children and he is a very good cook. He does mostly Western and Mediterranean cooking. He was the one who introduced me to paella which he cooked himself. And he once threw us a Mexican lunch at his house. That I remember, was absolutely fabulous.

YB2 is still a bachelor and is the baby of the family. He can cook but chooses not to (too troublesome he says). He can bake too but hasn't done so for years. Mum will always recall his moist chocolate cake and cookies, which most unfortunately I never got to taste. But I think mum is secretly relieved that YB2 has not baked since.


Anyway, last week we had a family gathering at my house. It was some sort of a post Chinese New Year gathering with my parents and my uncle in tow. As usual, there was lots of food.  The resident madam chef was in a lazy bum mood, hence the food (an assortment of noodles) was outsourced from a popular Hokkien mee outlet. YB2 did the buying. Yeah, shame on me.

YB1 sent me a text message earlier to tell me that he was bringing a roasted pork salad. Nice! I had no idea what sort of roasted pork salad but looked forwards to it nevertheless.

When everyone arrived, YB 1 and I went into my kitchen. I got him a big stainless steel bowl and he emptied one packet of salad greens into it. Next he brought out the pork. Outsourced he said. Oh yeah, siew yoke! My favorite.


Then he brought out his salad dressing which he kept inside a ziplock bag. It was his signature vinaigrette with cherry tomatoes. Some of the siew yoke was added to the salad, vinaigrette in and I tossed the salad. And then my brother brought out something unexpected from his bag of tricks. This :


I was like, huh? The salad was already tossed with vinaigrette. Why this roasted sesame dressing? Well, it was his salad and I better not behave like a bossy big sister. He proceeded to pour some of the Kewpie dressing into the salad and I continued to toss.


"OK, you have the honor of tasting", said my brother gleefully. Oh, okie.... ngap, ngap, ngap..Hmmm!!! Very good! Geez, I thought it was a strange combination but it worked. The vinaigrette complimented the roasted sesame dressing. Who would have thought?



So I learnt something new that evening - how to make a cocktail of a dressing by mixing Italian style vinaigrette with Japanese dressing. I don't know how my brother got on to such a weird combo. Maybe one day he had leftovers of both dressings and decided to pool them together. That's how discoveries are made, unintentionally.



I know what you are thinking. Didn't I say that we had noodles? What's salad doing among noodles? Well, folks that's how my family rolls. My mum, irregardless of what she cooks, will always have a big bowl of salad on the table. Be it chicken curry, ginger chicken or fried fish, her coleslaw or French Salad will always accompany our meals. So Hokkien mee and salad it was, weird as it may seem.



There is no recipe here as this vinaigrette is made using the "agak-agak" (estimates) method. The ingredients are apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, honey and cherry tomatoes. My brother says that by steeping the tomatoes in the dressing, it makes the tomatoes taste better. 

Quite honestly, the dressing that I recreated did not taste as good as my brother's. I think it needs his special touch :) So I did not really give away his secret recipe after all.


42 comments:

  1. Good morning dearie.. Haha, I like the way you described younger brother 1 and younger brother 2.. I prefer to call them baby brother 1 BB1, and baby brother 2 BB2.. Even they are already 30 or 40, they will still remain as your baby brothers, hehe.. Ooooo, actually I want to get this Kewpie sesame dressing for a long long time already, but I don't like salad, so I procrastinate until now.. If I'm you ahh, inside the kitchen with BB1, I would have eaten all the siew yok already, hehehehe.. But nice lah your salad.. I don't like salad also I think I will eat your salad, coz of the sesame dressing and siew yok of course !

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    1. Hi Louiz! True, true. They will always be my baby brothers no matter how old they are :) I think you will like salad if there is lots of siew yoke or other meats inside. Get the Kewpie dressing. It is very good and maybe that will make you eat more salads!

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  2. This salad dressing combo is not weird at all! I've eaten quite a few side salads these days (served at restaurants) that were dressed in sesame and vinaigrette. The tanginess of the vinaigrette helps to cut through the richness of the sesame paste.

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    1. Kris, you got that right! After I had the salad, it got me thinking the same thing as you. In fact using this combination, we don't need to use so much of the sesame dressing. It is expensive you know! hee..hee...

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  3. wow, looks like everyone in the family can cook, including your two Yang Berhormat (YB)!! and your mum is so ever westernised serving salad with French dressing all the time on the table no matter what she cooks!! a family of gastronome should i say?? hahaha..

    roast pork salad, i actually love that!! other than the sinful bacon, i think our siew yoke also make very nice complements to the greens, don't you think?? and ah, vinaigrette with sesame dressing just sound so so so inviting!! but make sure the skin of the siew yoke must be crispy.. i have eaten many siew yoke, though very nice but the skin wasn't crispy but kind of "lao hong" (what's the best word in English for this??) already, so it's like biting rubber and that is really a turn off..

    yo yo yo!! the Baking and Cooking Queen is making her own vinaigrette from scratch at home!! hahaha.. i don't have all those herbs and pepper and salt and vinegar and what-nots.. but my vinaigrette will always be the standard balsamic vinegar and olive oil - okay, of course from the bottles i can get from supermarket shelves!! haha, you think i am going to make my own from scratch and press my extra virgin olive oil myself?? muahahaha, i MAKAN aje lah remember?? :D

    okay, now the goma dressing, i always like this!! before i knew about such thing on earth, i always like the very "cina" style sesame seed oil.. just simple sesame seed oil with soya sauce (perhaps a tad little sugar to enhance) can be a very nice dressing for veggie too, have you tried that?? and then later i found out this goma dressing, oooh, just love it to bits!! but later when i knew about the yuzu dressing, i even like this more!!! because it's more refreshing, the zest of grapefruit, imagine, can be so appetising and not cloying like sesame sometimes..

    and those cherry tomatoes, wow, at first i thought it's some kind of jelly, haha!! :p

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    1. Wah, SK! Your comment is so panjang berjela-jela hee..hee... I have been using sesame oil to make dressing too because I love the sesame smell. My old time favourite is Balsamic vinegar, garlic, soya sauce, olive and sesame oil. Sometimes I add in some pounded ginger and sweet chilli sauce. Then it becomes something like the chicken rice chili sauce and it is great as a dressing. And I will add those leaves that are smelly to you (coriander) hee..hee..

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    2. wah, this PH uses spices like a Chennai Minachi!!! :p

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    3. So now same status as Anay and Thambee :D

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  4. Wow!! You have 2 brothers who are Yang Berhormats!! I also have similar siblings in my family - 1 lady & 2 YBs.

    I also have the same salad dressing at home which is the biggest sized bottle. I find that is the best I had taken and goes well with any greens. I must learn to throw in pork bellies for added oomph! Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe.

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    1. hah..hah...Yang Berhormat! Yes, I love this roasted sesame dressing and I have seen those big bottle ones. But that would be too much for me to finish.

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  5. Hahaha! He's just telling you 80% while not revealing the 20% secret winner parts of his recipe kot!

    I find it funny that you who cooks so much, decided not to cook for a gathering at your house. Well at least you helped toss the salad! :D

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    1. Maybe lah he didn't give full disclosure hah..hah.. You see, cooking for one or two persons is not the same as cooking for 9 people. I usually do the cooking for gatherings but this time round I just couldn't find the energy!

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  6. Phong Hong, I love salad but I am not good at making salad...I only know how to enjoy. I look at your salad, wow! so yummy and delicious. I think I had better learn to make my own salad.

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    1. Nancy, salad is quite easy. You can always buy the ready made dressings and just toss, toss, toss!

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  7. Me and your YB2 can shake hand, me also find too troublesome, hehe...

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  8. Hi Phong Hong,
    That reminds me ... my MIL also loves coleslaw & salads. Oh this bowl of salad with roast pork is so tasty ! (but I'll cut away the skin if I make this... ) hee .. hee.

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    1. Karen, send the skin over to me hee..hee...

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  9. That dressing sure is different from mine. Bet I'd love it too...and with the siew yoke! Oooo...heaven!!!

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  10. Maybe I should try and taste also.

    But your salad makes me crave for some now!

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  11. Sounds so perfect for the mix and match salad dressing :) Yummm...

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    1. Ann, it turned out quite well. I am using this formula now hah..hah...

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  12. Wow, healthy food!!!! I love your salad, Phong Hong! ;)

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    1. Thank you, Esther! I hope I can lose weight hah..hah...

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  13. I love siew yoke, yum yum, I remembered I only made salad once

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    1. Only once? Should go make another one, Libby :)

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  14. I have no talent in cooking, how nice if I know how to cook

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    1. Actually you can if you make the effort hee..hee...

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  15. Siew yok salad? Wow that's a great idea!!

    I guess you and your brothers all got the cooking genes la!

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    1. Hayley, yes! Got it from my grandma, my mum and also my dad hee..hee,,,

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  16. YB1 does have the cooking genes... even on his name... haha... tats nice bowl of salad... a bit more siewyoke wont make you feel guilty...

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    1. Ya hor? I never thought of that hee..hee... This is my guilt free way of enjoying siew yoke. I love the skin and the fats!

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  17. I love to eat all kinds of salad so reading your post makes me feel hungry. Good to have two brothers who cook.

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    1. Yes, but one chose not to cook so I don't know how good he is hee..hee..

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