Tiger salad is a refreshing, crunchy Chinese salad that is simple to make and full of flavor.
What Is Tiger Salad?
Tiger salad is a light and refreshing Chinese salad from the northern regions of China. In some places it is served as a side dish with hearty meat main dishes, while in other places it is more often found as a light appetizer enjoyed with drinks before the meal.
Why Is It Called Tiger Salad?
The name of this salad laohu cai (or lao hu cai) literally translates to ‘tiger vegetable’.
The name comes from the way the different shades of green from the julienned ingredients are supposed to look like a tiger’s stripes.
Variations On Tiger Salad
There are two main variations of this salad.
In the Xinjiang region in the northwest of China, they more often use tomatoes, red onions, and green chilies in their salad. This version is more often served as a side dish with meat skewers.
The other variation hails from Manchuria in the northeast (the same region the Manchurian tiger comes from). This version more often contains green onions, green pepper, and cilantro. In Manchuria, it is more common to find this salad eaten as an appetizer while waiting for the main dish to arrive.
As this salad has gained popularity, many variations have appeared.
The most common variation is to add some julienned cucumber, but you will also find red peppers and red chiles added into the mix.
Today, we’re sharing one of the variations with cucumbers, since we always have so many garden cucumbers to use up and we’re always on the lookout for new cucumber salads.
How To Make Tiger Salad
Tiger salad is a very easy salad to put together. The most time consuming part is julienning all the vegetables. But, if you have a mandolin slicer that can do the work for you, you’ll have this salad made in no time!
After slicing the vegetables, they are dressed with a simple sauce made from sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. It’s important to make sure your salad isn’t overly dressed. Just add enough oil and seasonings to tie the vegetables together nicely, without making the salad soggy.
Letting the salad rest in the refrigerator for a couple hours before serving helps bring the flavors together and creates a wonderful, fresh salad experience!
Great Dishes To Pair With This Salad
The fresh crunch and bright flavors of tiger salad pair perfectly with meat dishes, particularly grilled skewers, making it the perfect summer dish. And it’s bursting with summer ingredients like cucumber, cilantro, and green pepper.
Chinese BBQ pork, char siu would be a great dish to pair this salad with.
- In a medium bowl, mix chopped vegetables.
- Add the sesame oil slowly, adding just enough to make the cilantro leaves shine.
- Add the rice vinegar and soy sauce. Toss well. Taste and add salt or more oil if desired, being careful not to over dress the salad.
- Refrigerate 2-4 hours to let the flavors come together before serving with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 83 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 263mg Carbohydrates: 7g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Protein: 2g