There are certain things that Okinawa, Japan lacks. Beta carotene is not one of them.
I thought moving to the “Hawaii of Japan” would be all pineapple farms and beachside tiki bars. There are a few pineapple farms with incredibly tangy, fresh fruit. The tiki bars, not so much. Japanese people are generally more of an indoor bunch. Some of the younger generation are more into surfing and being out in the sun but for the most part, Japanese people put on long sleeved shirts and long shorts to go to the beach to protect their skin.
One thing this “Hawaii of Japan” does have is carrots. Big, perfect carrots. Tons of them. I’m not sure what it is about the soil or the weather that makes them such a great crop here. The chickens eat these perfect carrots and other organic material; the beta carotene makes for the most orange healthy looking egg yolks. Seriously, beautiful, strong yolks…I’ve thought of playing toss-the-yolk to see how far I can toss it without it breaking but the mess would just be…too nasty….
For awhile I thought a lot about making a carrot salad and kept putting it off for some reason or another. Most recipes you will find on the web use lemon or orange juice as the primary dressing but I wanted to try something a little different. My salad has a different take with the green curry. It’s spicy but the raisins give you a little sweetness to counteract the heat. The scallions and cilantro don’t hide behind the curry and add quite nice flavor, if I do say so myself.
If you’re afraid of the heat, when you are making the dressing, simply add the curry last and add 1 Tablespoon to start. Taste it and if you want it spicier, add more. I put in 2 Tablespoons for moderate heat. It took a bit of taste testing to get it right and I hope you enjoy it!
- 5 cups grated carrots
- ½ cup scallions, finely chopped
- ½ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped and packed
- ½ cup raisins
- 1½ to 2 Tablespoons green curry paste****
- 6 Tablespoons coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tablespoons pistachio finely chopped, for garnish
- ****I used 2 T green curry paste which resulted in a spicy salad, you can use a little less and still have great flavor. Start at 1 T and add, tasting, to your preference.
- Grate carrots 5-6 medium to large carrots will yield five cups. Add raisins, chopped scallions, cilantro and toss to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk green curry paste, coconut milk and salt and pepper. If you are not sure how spicy you want it, start with 1 T green curry and taste it, I added 2 T for a moderate spice.
- Pour over carrot mixture and toss to coat. Garnish with chopped pistachio and serve.