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Make an Avocado Salad from a Chic LA Restaurant

By Joy Liao

Several years ago, while living in Los Angeles, I began toying with the idea of working in the culinary field. However, without a culinary degree nor any professional kitchen experience, I hadn't quite figured out how to jump start my career.

Fortunately, having gotten to know the executive chef at one of my favorite restaurants, I casually asked if I could shadow in his kitchen. To my surprise, he agreed.

The restaurant, a popular dining spot frequented by Hollywood celebs, was a great place to learn. One of the top sellers on the menu was a simple and elegant Asian-inspired avocado salad. Avocados aren't inherent to Asian cooking, but the mélange of flavors and textures worked in harmony. The creaminess of the avocado paired with the acid from the Asian-style vinaigrette created a perfect balance.

For this recipe, the avocado should be just ripe – firm to the touch but with a little give when you apply gentle pressure to the fruit. If the avocado is not quite ripe, place it in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana to speed up the ripening process. See here for more tips on picking the right avocado.

One of my favorite features of Special Fork is that fruits and vegetables in recipes are linked to selection and storage tips. It's super helpful when shopping at the supermarket.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Avocado Salad
Serves 2
1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
1/2 avocado
Salt and pepper
Pinch of white sesame seeds (optional)
1 1/2 cups baby greens
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

To make the dressing, in a medium bowl whisk together fish sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and mirin until well-blended.

Cut avocado in half lengthwise and remove pit. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh out of the shell, keeping the flesh in one piece. Put the peeled avocado half cavity-side down on a cutting board and cut on a bias into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Fan the slices slightly on a large salad plate and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle white sesame seeds if desired.  Repeat with remaining avocado half on second salad plate.

Arrange the greens alongside the avocado, dividing equally between 2 plates. Re-whisk the dressing and drizzle about 2 tablespoons on each salad. Garnish with cilantro. Makes 2 servings. Note: this recipe makes ¾ cup dressing; refrigerate the remainder and use for another salad.

Recipe by Joy Liao

While other three-year-old girls played with their Barbie dolls, Joy Liao made herself an imaginary kitchen. She'd pretend to be the butcher at the market, taking a plastic knife to her stuffed animals. (She wasn’t a troubled child, promise!) Having an insatiable appetite for all things delicious, Joy grew up in the kitchen learning about cooking from her mother. After college, she pursued an editorial/media career, and more recently, rediscovered her passion for food in the kitchens of Michelin-starred restaurants in San Francisco.

Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Related posts:
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  2. It’s Easy to Make Thai Chicken Salad
  3. My Favorite Go-To Meal
  4. Last Chance: Watermelon Salad
  5. Make an Easy, One-Skillet Meal

Reader Comments (1)

i'm used to having guacamole but i've never eaten avocado this way..your salad looks good, gotta try the recipe!

October 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDewy | Brochure Printing

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