Recipe: Taiwanese tomato platter with ginger and soy dipping sauce

Lately, I've been watching a Taiwanese variety TV show called 食尚玩家 (Super Taste), which is basically a show that introduces its viewers to great food places, usually in Taiwan, but sometimes overseas as well. In one of the episodes, the hosts went to a place that served a refreshing-looking salad. It was basically a platter of tomato wedges with a ginger and soy dipping sauce. It probably sounds like a bit of an odd combination - fresh tomato and a sweet soy sauce with a hint of ginger. But I'd had the dish before and I knew it tasted fantastic!

With the weather so hot in Canberra lately (39 degrees today!) I really felt like having something light for dinner, and this tomato salad looked perfect!! I adapted my recipe from this one.

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The tricky part to this salad is getting the dipping sauce just right. Of course, what's "just right" will be different for everyone. So the below recipe is what I think is "just right". You may need to adjust the quantities slightly if you prefer a more sour or tangier or sweeter dipping sauce :) Another way to serve this dish would be to include julienned carrot and cucumber with the tomato and drizzle the sauce over the salad as a dressing!

Taiwanese tomato platter with ginger and soy dipping sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 large tomatoes or a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes (best if they are firm and a bit under ripe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of soy paste (you can find this in Asian grocery stores, I used the Kimlan brand)

Wash the tomatoes and cut the large tomatoes into small wedges (cut cherry tomatoes in half if using). Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and stir well.

Enjoy!

Would you try this dish? Let me know in the comments below if you made this dish and whether you liked it (or not)!

哈瓦納 Havana Steak and Pasta - Taoyuan, Taiwan

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Today, I ordered the Spaghetti with Seafood and Cream Sauce (as a meal). The spaghetti by itself is NT$180 (approx AUD$5.90). But if you pay NT$260 (approx AUD$8.50) for the set meal, as well as the main, you also get a bowl of soup + a side salad + a drink + fruit for dessert (for an extra NT$20, you can upgrade to a slice of cake).

We began with a creamy, yet light and flavourful vegetable soup.

Next came a refreshing salad of lettuce sprinkled with nuts, raisins and a drizzle of thousand island dressing.

I hardly ever say this, but the dish tasted every bit as good as it looks in the photo! The spaghetti was not overcooked and neither was the seafood, of which there was a generous amount (it was all hidden under the spaghetti!). Ribbons of carrot and green capsicum added freshness and a summer-like feel to the dish. The sauce was creamy but not at all cloying. The delicate flavours infused into the sauce complemented the overall lightness of the seafood pasta.

In Taiwan, when you order a set meal, drinks come after you have finished your main. I had a cold milk tea. Two people in my party were sharing a set meal and the wait staff were nice enough to let both have a drink each :)

Well-picked fruit was the perfect way to end a fantastic meal. A special note on oranges in Taiwan. This may sound weird, but if you are ever in Taiwan, try an orange. It will change your life and you won't be able to stop at just one. The Taiwanese orange is the reason why I don't ever buy Australian oranges :P

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