|Margarita's International Recipes|
I was attracted to this fruit salad by the distinct flavors it offered. I've had many fruit salads in my life, but none that included cucumber and jicama. Indeed, I'd never even eaten jicama before. Alas, I didn't think it worked very well. Of course, we are in winter which means some of the fruit was less than stellar - but the apples and pears were good. One problem was that the flavors didn't really go well together. Another was that most of the fruits didn't go well with the sauce, the flavors just did not combine. This was not true of the pineapple, fortunately, and I do think that pineapple with peanut sauce might be a good, exotic desert to serve. I daresay, the sauce would also work with bananas. Note that the recipe calls for you to use only the cucumber plus three (or more) other fruits, so you don't have to use them all. I tried all of them, however, save for the star fruit which wasn't available at the market.
The sauce, by itself, was delicious - and I'd recommend anyone who likes peanut sauces. I couldn't find the requisite tamarind paste to make it, so I bought dried tamarinds (the only type I could find), peeled and seeded them, boiled them with 1/2 cup water, put that in the word processor and then strained it. I think it worked out remarkably well. I used two Thai chilies, and that gave it a nice amount of spice - though the spiciness had declined noticeably by the next day.
In all, I wouldn't make this salad again, though I'll definitely be making the sauce again.
For the fruit salad
- 1 small cucumber, sliced thin
- 1 cup jicama, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 cup cubed firm ripe papaya, cubed (optional)
- 1 star fruit, sliced (optional)
- 1 pineapple, cubed (optional)
- 1 firm green pear, cubed (optional)
- 1 firm tart apple, cubed (optional)
For the Peanut Sauce
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tbsp. peanut butter
- 1 or 2 hot red chilies, sliced and seeded
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 small green banana, sliced (optional)
Arrange the cucumber and the other fruits you are using in separate heaps on a serving platter.
Combine the tamarind sauce with the water. Mix and strain. Mix the remaining liquid with the rest of the ingredients, put in a word processor or blender and blend into a smooth paste. If it's too thick, add some more water.
Select the fruit and dip into the sauce.
The modern way of serving this dish is mixing the fruit and the sauce together and serving it as a regular fruit salad.
Adapted from a recipe at AsiaRecipe.com