Pungent flavour stimulates your palate at first taste, just like the shock you would get when encounter a tiger. This is how Xinjiang tiger salad gets its name.
A refreshing, crunchy salad is indispensable for summer meals, especial while enjoying seasonal BBQ dishes. Today, I’m going to introduce one of the simplest Chinese salads: Xinjiang tiger salad (新疆老虎菜).
When I worked as a journalist in Beijing, having lamb skewers (Yang Rou Chuan, 羊肉串) in humble street cafes with my colleagues was one of my favourite way to relax after a busy, stressful day. Apart from dozens of chilli and cumin flavoured lamb skewers, we always ordered a plate of tiger salad, a simple dish which shares the same origin (Xinjiang, an autonomous region in the northwest of China) as lamb skewers. Its fresh, natural taste is a perfect accompaniment to greasy meat dishes.
Xinjiang tiger salad consists of four common ingredients: tomato, red onion, green chilli and coriander. It’s believed that the name “tiger” comes from the fact that the pungent flavour from onion and chilli stimulates your palate at first taste, just like the shock you would get when encounter a tiger.
Tiger salad is as healthy as can be (without being tasteless). The combination of natural flavours from four ingredients combined together with a splash of black rice vinegar, a pinch of sugar / honey and salt are all that you need. Not one drop of oil is necessary. In the recipe box below, I list the quantity of each ingredient. However, it’s just a general guide. You are totally free to alter the proportion as you like.
Hope you enjoyed reading my post. For meal planning inspiration, please check out the dishes below that I often pair with tiger salad.
Have a great day!
Dishes that need a refreshing salad to side: