The spacious dining room of Uncle Yu’s at the Vineyard in downtown Livermore provides a sophisticated setting for fine pan-Asian cuisine. To enhance the salad’s flavors, owner/sommelier Nick Liang offers 600 wines by the bottle and 50 by the glass, including an in-depth selection of Livermore wines.
- 4 ounces rice noodles
- 2 cups taro root, finely shredded into 4-inch pieces
- 1 cup peanuts
- 1½ ounces red cabbage, finely shredded into 4-inch pieces
- 2 cups green papaya, skinned, finely shredded into 4-inch pieces
- 1 small jicama, skinned, finely shredded into 4-inch pieces
- 2 cups cucumber, skinned, seeded, finely shredded into 4-inch pieces
- 2 cups carrots, finely shredded into 4-inch pieces
- 4 teaspoons grapefruit pulp, sliced into small pieces
- ¼ pound smoked salmon, cut into thin slices 4 inches long by 3/8 inches wide
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- ⅜ cup micro arugula, for garnish
- 2½ tablespoons plum sauce
- 4 teaspoons apple sauce
- 4 teaspoons peach preserves
- ¼ cup coconut water
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons Chinese hot mustard
- 1 ⅓ tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
In deep-bottomed skillet or pot, heat vegetable oil to 350˚F. Add rice noodles. Fry until they puff up. Set aside. Add taro root to skillet. Fry 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside.
In skillet over low to medium heat, stir-fry peanuts until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and let cool. Chop peanuts finely. Set aside.
Mix cabbage, papaya, jicama, cucumber, carrots and grapefruit. Cool in ice-cold water for 30 minutes, then strain. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Place fried rice noodles on flat dish. Pile salad mix over noodles in pyramid shape. Wrap salmon slices around pyramid. Pour dressing (recipe at right) over salad. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and sesame seeds. Place taro roots on top. Garnish with micro arugula.
For dressing, combine ingredients in blender. Purée 30 seconds.
To serve, use two forks to toss salad until mixed. According to tradition, the higher salad is tossed, the more success it will bring. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
White wines with a gentle hint of sweetness complement the textural and flavor complexity of the dish. Liang suggests two wines: Murrieta’s Well “The Whip” 2014 White Blend (Livermore Valley),which is led by Sémillon and Chardonnay; and BoaVentura de Caires 2014 White Table Wine (Livermore Valley), based on Albariño with 18% Sauvignon Blanc and 2% Orange Muscat.