There are six of us for dinner, two are vegetarians but eat fish. There is little time to nip over to the Sydney fish market nor start something elaborate. I settle on a rustic hearty vegetable curry with pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots and courgette. I stir in a couple of teaspoons of coconut cream to richen the sauce and tone down the chillies.
I discover a quarter of a white cabbage left in the fridge and start to shred it ever so finely, wishing I had brought my mandoline with me, which would do the job in half the time. The careful attention to balancing the dressing of onion oil, tamarind juice, fish sauce and lime juice tossed with the cabbage makes a quick and easy Burmese coleslaw. It is refreshing, light and fragrant eaten with the curry and plenty of rice.
300g white cabbage, thinly shredded
small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
1 shallot, sliced thinly lengthways & soaked in cold water
1 shallot, fried in oil to make crispy onions
3 garlic cloves, fried in oil to make crispy garlic
1 tablespoon roasted chickpea powder
1 teaspoon dried shrimp floss
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons onion oil
2 tablespoons tamarind juice
fish sauce to taste
If you have already tried some thote recipes from the book, you will be familiar with the ingredients and have in your larder onion oil, dried shrimp pounded into floss and roasted chickpea powder. It takes no time to make the crispy shallots and garlic then prep the remaining ingredients.
I do think the fun of any Burmese thote is to serve all the ingredients laid out on the table and let everyone mix their own salad. When this is not convenient, throw all the salad ingredients in a bowl, add the dressing and mix by tossing the ingredients with your hands. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lime juice or fish sauce. Serve immediately.
Cooking time: 10 mins