Merciful Hangover Salad

My pal Fiona (@GreenClouds4) is a busy mum of 3 and still a brilliant chef. Look at her recipe. Perfectly timed for this weekend’s madness too.

Aiming for Monster Munch in meal form really. Salt, sweet, sour, spicy, fried: all the food groups. But healthy. It ranks in difficulty and expense somewhere between opening a party pack of Monster Munch and getting dressed to go point weakly at a brunch menu. There is *definitely* no food processor involved.

Nutrition

Kale:

a modest superhero that’ll get thing back on track, it’s nutritionally dense especially in iron and vitamins A, K and C yet is the cheapest vegetable there is. A massive bag costs a euro. Its wholesome taste might seem at odds with a hangover appetite but actually the mineral earthiness has a way of making other ingredients sing, of somehow tasting more of themselves. Kale is the base player in the band basically.

Aubergine:

Interestingly it has a higher concentration of nicotine than any other edible foodstuff. Not as much as a cigarette by any means but if you’ve got the Never Smoking Again horrors going on it might help take the edge off.

Ginger:

Nothing but nothing but nothing settles nausea like ginger does. Ask any pregnant woman.

Fish Sauce:

Smelly, sour, salty, pungent yumtiousness and the distinctive oomph in Thai food. The idea of fermented fish sounds like all sorts of wrong but actually it doesn’t taste fishy and has precedence as a hangover cure. Bloody Mary uses Worcestershire Sauce which is made from anchovy essence. So does the brown sauce on a fry-up. But soy sauce is fine to use instead. Or just salt. The point really is to get the salts back into you

Garlic:

For solitude.

Chilli:

For shock therapy.

Olive oil:

Don’t hold back.

Heat a proper slosh of olive oil in a large pan or wok. Cut the aubergine into 5mm thick rounds discarding the green part. Salt the aubergine and fry the slices till golden on one side, turn over and fry again. It should be soft now and thoroughly cooked through. There are worse things you can put in your mouth than raw aubergine but not on this corner of the internet. While the aubergine is cooking, chop 1 fat red chilli and 4 gloves garlic, grate a large knob of ginger. Wash your hands, today isn’t the day to accidentally rub chilli in eyes. While that’s frying wash the kale, strip the leafy part from the stalks and tear into pieces. Remove aubergine from the pan and set aside. Fry the garlic, chilli and ginger adding more oil if needs be. Add a good slosh of fish sauce to the pan. It’ll sizzle and smell fantastic. Scrap and stir any ginger stuck to the pan into the sauce. Add the kale and toss for a few seconds till a brighter green. You don’t want to cook it as such, just soften it a little. Tumble the kale into a salad bowl, arrange the aubergine over it then pour over the oily spiced dressing from the pan. Serve with noodles if you like. And ice-cold full-fat Coke, or beer if dire emergency. When not hungover and trustworthy around hot oil this salad is fantastic with white fish tempura.”

Kale salad

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