Spicy Joint’s Creamy Sesame Sauce Lettuce Salad
Want to know how you’ll devour a whole platter of lettuce by yourself? Just drizzle it with an intense, Creamy Sesame Sauce. This is a copycat of a lettuce salad at an authentic Sichuan restaurant called “Spicy Joint” in Sydney that I’m completely mad for! Creamy Sesame Sauce Lettuce Salad We (the RecipeTin Family) believe... Get the Recipe The post Spicy Joint’s Creamy Sesame Sauce Lettuce Salad appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.
Want to know how you’ll devour a whole platter of lettuce by yourself? Just drizzle it with an intense, Creamy Sesame Sauce. This is a copycat of a lettuce salad at an authentic Sichuan restaurant called “Spicy Joint” in Sydney that I’m completely mad for!
Creamy Sesame Sauce Lettuce Salad
We (the RecipeTin Family) believe this salad and sauce originates from around the Sichuan and Chongqing areas of China (if any readers can confirm that’d be great!) It’s popped up on the menus of some of our favourite Sydney Sichuan restaurants like Spicy Joint, and Chongqing Noodles.
And ever since we’ve tried it, we’ve been dying to replicate the recipe because it is insanely addictive.
A little salty, a little sweet, and packed with intense sesame flavour, this sauce – and it’s really more of a sauce than a dressing in consistency – punches well, well, well above its weight for such a short list of basic ingredients. One mouthful and you’ll be forever hooked!
You need this sauce in your life. Trust me.
Creamy Sesame Sauce (Chinese/Sichuan)
Here’s what you need to make the sauce:
- Chinese Sesame Paste – this is the Chinese version of tahini, a common pantry item for Sichuan cuisine (eg used in Dan Dan Noodles). It’s darker in colour and has a more intense flavour. You’ll find it in Asian stores where it’s cheaper than tahini! Sub: Tahini. TIP: Like tahini, the oil separates when it’s sitting in the pantry, so give it a good stir before using. I find a chopstick or butter knife most effective.
- Peanut butter – natural, pure peanut butter is best here, for most intense peanut flavour. But even any spread will do just fine – it’s a background flavour in this sauce, sesame is the dominant flavour;
- Sesame oil – toasted, which is brown and has better sesame flavour, rather than untoasted (which is yellow, lighter sesame flavour);
- Oyster sauce – for a hit of umami, this is what gives the sauce depth of flavour despite the few ingredients called for!
- Dark soy – for darkening the sauce and adding a touch of seasoning;
- Sugar and salt – this sauce has a specific sweet/savoury flavour, quite intense because the idea is that you use very little drizzled over the lettuce;
- Water – for thinning the sauce.
As for the making part? Just mix together until it comes together, and use water to adjust so it becomes “drizzle-able”.
When it’s super thick, it might look like it’s split, but the thinner it gets, the more it comes together. But this sauce does split if it’s sitting around for ages. Just give it a good mix to make it creamy again.
How to serve this Creamy Sesame Sauce
I have been known to eat an entire platter of raw vegetables, just dipped in the sauce. It’s just ridiculously good!
And you don’t even need to dunk vegetables in completely – though out of the gate, I’m always greedy and I use way too much. It’s intense flavoured and quite rich, so actually, you only need a bit for each piece.
Which brings me to the proper way to serve this sauce – drizzled over a Chinese Lettuce Salad. Loose term for piling a platter with crispy small lettuce leaves. I used baby cos, traditionally it’s the leaves of a Chinese vegetable called youmaicai (yo-MAI-TSAI), also known as in English. It has good leafy crunch and is slightly nutty, and goes exceptionally well with this dressing.
Try it. Especially if you’ve made my Dan Dan Noodles, you’ll already have the Chinese Sesame Paste! – Nagi x
Spicy Joint’s Creamy Sesame Sauce with Lettuce Salad
Creamy Sesame Sauce:
- 2 tbsp Chinese sesame paste (Note 1)
- 1/2 tbsp peanut butter (Note 2)
- 1/2 tsp white sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce (Note 3)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil , toasted (ie brown, not yellow)
- 1/4 tsp dark soy sauce (Note 4)
- 3-4 tbsp water (or more)
- 2 baby cos lettuce or for authentic, Chinese lettuce , trimmed
- Sesame seeds for garnish (black, ideally for the colour, but white or roasted are fine)
- Wash and dry lettuce leaves. Slice any large ones in half vertically. Leave smaller leaves whole.
- Sauce: Mix all ingredients except water together in a bowl. Start by mixing in 3 tbsp water, a tablespoon at a time. Let the sauce sit for one minute. If the sauce starts to split, or the sauce is too thick, add another tablespoon of water. Keep doing this until you have a pourable / drizzle-able sauce that is emulsified (ie oil is not separated).
- Arrange leaves on platter, drizzle dressing over. Garnish with sesame seeds. (Alternative: just use to dip in raw veg. It is SO good!)
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