This is a unique dish and as the name suggests you mix the salad with your hands. It’s served with all the individual ingredients laid out on the table and the fun of eating this salad is making it yourself; mashing the potatoes, feeling the wonderful textures of the noodles and adjusting the garnishes until there is a perfect balance of all the seasoning. I like mine with a generous squeeze of lime juice so it’s deliciously sharp and eat it Burmese style using my fingers.
100g basmati rice, cooked
1 teaspoon chilli & dried shrimp oil (page 212)
4 large floury potatoes, peeled & cut into 1cm slices
100g egg noodles, cooked (spaghetti is OK)
100g cellophane noodles, cooked
100g flat rice noodles, cooked
100g rice vermicelli, cooked
150g white cabbage, shredded finely
100g deep-fried tofu
shan tofu, halve the recipe on page 127
125ml onion oil (page 206)
1 onion made into crispy onions (page 206)
50g roasted chickpea powder (page 208)
20g dried shrimps, pounded into floss
3 limes, quartered
75g tamarind pulp
200ml hot water
large handful of fresh coriander, chopped
extra fish sauce & dried chilli flakes
A couple of days beforehand, follow the instructions to make the Shan tofu. On the day, prepare the garnishes first. Make the crispy onions and oil, roasted chickpea powder, pound the dried shrimps into floss, chop the coriander and cut the limes. Add the hot water to the tamarind and leave for a few minutes to soften. Use a fork to mash the pulp and strain through a sieve to remove any stones or fibres.
Next prepare the base ingredients. Cook the rice as you would normally then mix in the chilli & dried shrimp oil. Cook the different types of noodles, following their packet instructions. Boil the potatoes for 7-10 minutes until they are tender, drain and leave to cool. Finally shred the cabbage and slice the fried tofu and Shan tofu into ½cm slices.
When all the ingredients are prepared, pile them individually on plates or in bowls and serve at room temperature. To make the perfect thote, take a small handful of each of the base ingredients. Add a teaspoon of crispy onions, chickpea powder, dried shrimps and coriander. Then a tablespoon of oil, a drizzle of tamarind liquid and a dash of fish sauce. Finally sprinkle chilli flakes and squeeze some lime juice, and mix well. It should be salty, sour and spicy.
cooking time: 60 mins