Ginger, Tamarind and Plum Sauce Dressing is such a wonderful use of Asian ingredients. With such contrasting flavours, it’s amazing how well they complement each other!
Tamarind is a fruit I grew up with as it is prevalent in Southeast Asian cooking and my mother used it in quite a few dishes. If you’re not familiar with tamarind, it is a fruit from a tree which produces bean-like pods with seeds. The seeds are enveloped in a pulp which is fibrous and it’s the pulp that we are after. It is sour to taste but also has an underlying sweetness.
Tamarind originally came from Africa but apart from Southeast Asia, it is also very popular in India.
When you’re buying tamarind, it usually comes in 2 forms. You can buy it as a paste in a jar or the seeds and pulp can come as a “wet” ingredient in a pressed block and are vacuum packed.
We have always used the block tamarind. We would soak it in some lukewarm water and let it sit for a bit. I would then help my mother by putting my hands in and kneading the tamarind. Essentially I’m getting the pulp off the seed and mixing it into the water. After some time, the consistency of the water thickens. I would then drain it through a sieve so I am only left with the tamarind water. But the seeds are never discarded until the cooking process is done, just in case we need to extract more or the dish is not sour enough.
Till this day, this remains as one of my most fondest childhood memories in the kitchen. Now my daughter does it for me or when grandma is in town and is making her signature Malaysian dish, Assam Laksa, which is a spicy fish based tamarind soup with noodles.
I do also use the tamarind paste that comes in a jar as it keeps for longer and I don’t usually need a lot. Perfect for making salad dressings, as a marinade for fish or quick soup base. Tamarind is also popular in a drink, chutneys and in desserts. An incredibly versatile fruit with a distinctive flavour.
Ginger, Tamarind and Plum Sauce Dressing Ingrédients
Plum sauce: Love this sweet and slightly tart sauce that seems to make everything taste better! I grew up on the Ayam Brand and Lee Kum Kee brand of sauces so I highly recommended them. Just in case you’re standing in the sauce section in an Asian supermarket and you’re overwhelmed with all the choices!
Tamarind paste: Love using tamarind paste for marinades or a quick add on into a soup base for hot pot style dinners. If you’re not familiar with which one to get, don’t fret too much.give Tamicon Tamarind Paste or Thai Tamarind Concentrate a go. But make sure you’re getting the paste and not the wet tamarind paste with or without the seeds.
Olive oil: Olive oil allows the sauces and pastes to become the dressing it needs to be.
Brown sugar: An added sweetness to counter balance some of the tartness.
Ginger: Finely grate the ginger with a microplane. Do make sure it’s very fine as we don’t want to find large chunks of ginger in the salad.
Pepper: Season with a little freshly cracked pepper to taste.
Ginger, Tamarind and Plum Sauce Dressing Method
Peel a small ginger and finely grate.
In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, plum sauce, tamarind paste and grated ginger until well combined.
Best Salad for This Dressing
Salt, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami. All of the main flavours packed into this Asian inspired Wombok Salad. You simply can’t go wrong with a juicy roast duck topped with wheels of sweetened ruby red grapefruit.
More Salad Dressing Recipes
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Ingredient Pairing Ideas
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Ginger, Tamarind and Plum Sauce Dressing
- Peel a small ginger and finely grate with microplane.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil, plum sauce, tamarind paste and grated ginger until well combined.
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