Several years ago, I spent a night in Taiwan. It was suggested that I attend one of their famous night markets, and I was excited for the experience. The first thing that hit me, however, upon exiting the taxi, was the stench; it was a smell I had never experienced before. The market consisted of hundreds of small stalls with vendors selling everything from clothing and jewelry to foods. It was the food booths that were the source of the stench, and it made me think of the Patricia Cornwell novels where Kay Scarpetta had to use a mask to do an autopsy in the morgue; I wished I had had a mask. Booth after booth displayed containers of animal body parts such as chicken feet, intestines, hearts, lungs, etc. – offal. The idea was to pick your favorites and they would stir-fry them with vegetables and sauce. The temperature was over 90 degrees with at least that much humidity, and none of the booths had refrigeration that I could see. I did not indulge in one of those stir-fried dishes.
Since it’s Halloween and it’s fun to serve really scary foods at the annual Halloween BOO-ffet, I offer this Awful Offal & Body Parts Salad for your guests. Actually, it’s a very healthy and delicious salad with lots of good ingredients, especially the edamame, which are soybeans. Some of the ingredients are sort of shaped like that offal was, and that’s where this salad got its name (of course, you need to use your imagination a little – I’m fairly certain that none of the ingredients taste like that offal, but I’m not planning any taste tests). Other times of the year, you can call it “Edamame Salad.” It’s similar to a salad sold at Costco, and in airport kiosks, but this homemade version is much better, has no preservatives, contains no animal body parts, and is easy to make.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce, or other hot sauce
1 16 oz. package edamame (shelled), available frozen at most larger grocery stores and Asian markets
2 cups frozen corn, rinsed
1 cup carrots, cut julienne (can be purchased already cut in the produce department)
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced
1 cup zucchini, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crisp crumbled bacon
- Mix the dressing ingredients in a blender container and blend until well-mixed.
- Scrape down the sides and blend again (alternately, whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl); set the dressing aside.
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil; add 2 teaspoons salt and the edamame.
- Cook the edamame 5-10 minutes or until crisp-tender; pour into a colander and rinse with cold water.
- Drain well and place in a serving bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients, toss with the dressing, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least four hours before serving to blend flavors.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 213 Calories from Fat 73
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 34% Protein 15% Carb. 50%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 8 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 1 mg
Sodium 148 mg
Total Carbohydrate 27 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 8 g
Vitamin A 58% Vitamin C 22% Calcium 0% Iron 3%