The trickiest part to this recipe is preparation of the dressing, which is prepared in the same way as a traditional Indonesian sambal (spicy sauce). With most meals in Indonesia, sambal is served on the side to provide a bit of extra kick to whatever dish is being eaten. There are different types of sambals with a variety of ingredients, and these and the techniques for preparing the perfect sambal are often passed down from mother to child.
Traditionally, sambal is prepared from scratch using a mortar and pestle. I love the opportunity to get out my mortar and pestle set, and with raw food preparation, there is often a chance to do this when particular fresh herbs and spices need to be minced, or ground.
This Indonesian influenced salad is crispy and has a real zing with the flavour. These ingredients are very commonly used in Indonesian cooking, so I could call this a raw Indonesian salad, as it also uses the traditional sambal preparation technique. In this salad, the sambal is used as a dressing which could also be used in other salads. Make an extra batch to keep in the fridge if you like your food a little bit spicy.
Spicy Green Bean Salad
3 cups green beans, sliced at an angle so the beans have a diamond shape
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh dessicated coconut (optional)
Sweet and Spicy Sambal Dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
small piece of ginger peeled and chopped
1 small red chili pepper, deseeded
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon honey (or other sweetener)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Ground peanuts or cashew nuts as garnish
- First combine the beans, coconut and tomatoes in a bowl.
- Next prepare the sambal using a mortar and pestle. Grind the garlic, ginger and chilli pepper into the mortar using the pestle to make a paste.
- In a small container, combine the lime, honey and salt, then add the sambal paste and stir.
- Pour the liquid dressing to the beans and coconut mix and combine well.
- Garnish with the nuts before serving.