Ban Haidaisi Julienned Kelp Salad 炝拌海带丝

IMG_3805A recipe is more or less a written formula guiding cook to achieve the desirable, commonly recognised and accepted taste of a dish, indicating or restricting the usage and the quantities of an ingredient go into a combination. Cooking did not start from a recipe and has been practiced long before it existed. The first intuition was a mental flash of how food would be tasted like. Only then did cook seek to fill a plate with a feeling of taste, achieved as much through his delicate adjustment of cooking timing and flavouring balancing as through his instinct. The nature flavour of the main ingredient was enhanced or modified against the saltiness as a background; its character was created by harmonizing or contrasting both ingredients and basic flavours of which there are: sweet, bitter, sour and hot.

The essence of any cooking is to comprehend raw materials and profoundly to have a vision before executing so as to apply standard techniques to the process. A grandma’s cooking, picking up things randomly and adding ingredients to the pot at her pace without any recipe book aside and instead, most often with disturbing of children, is seemingly effortless as a mechanical process. However, her very dish turns out to be wonderful and tasty in the same way as if a master would have cooked. In fact, a master is the one who aware that cooking is not a form but a way of appreciating food by the form basing on intensive practice of his life. Probably, recipes in a mater’s mind were just some not-to-do lists leading him audaciously and freely to render a composition of any dishes which would satisfy the exacting requirements of usual and unusual tastes.

Let us go back to our natural this time, to follow our taste and get your hands on your own Chinese kelp salad, the below is only a rough runway for taxing and landing your very own imagination.

Chinese Kelp salad
Serves: as many people as you like, but ≥1.
Julienned Kelp
Sliced spring onion
Julienned red fresh chillies
Light soy sauce
Vinegar
Sugar
Smashed garlic cloves
Balance them up as you like and ask the other people have a taste as well, then, adjust accordingly.

Preparing the dried kelp
Soak the dried kelp in warm water until reconstitutes.
Boil the kelp till cooked with frequently taste until soft. Believe yourself!
Cool the cooked kelp under cold running water.

Finely slice the kelp and dry them well.
Now, mix all the above and give a good stir, finally a taste again and write down your own recipe either for a souvenir or a milestone of to be you own.

In any way, it deserves a toast for your very own kelp salad.

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