March 6, 2024

Susur Lee’s Singapore-style Slaw with Ume Dressing

Recipe: Susur Lee

“The mixture of textures and flavors — cooked and raw vegetables, crunchy peanuts and sesame seeds, plus the tangy dressing — creates a party in your mouth.” — Susur Lee


Pickled Red Onion

  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme

Ume Dressing

  • 1 cup preserved ume (Japanese salted plum), pitted
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup onion oil
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1/2 tsp peeled and chopped fresh ginger

Singapore-style Slaw

  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, julienned
  • 2 litres canola oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 oz. rice vermicelli
  • 3 oz. taro root, julienned
  • 1 large English cucumber, julienned
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 tbsp pickled ginger
  • 1 small jicama, peeled and julienned
  • 1 cup peeled and julienned daikon
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
  • Pickled Red Onion (see above)
  • 4 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 6 tsp crushed roasted peanuts
  • 4 tsp edible flower petals
  • 4 tsp fennel seedlings
  • 4 tsp purple basil seedlings
  • 4 tsp coriander seedlings
  • 4 tsp daikon sprouts
  • 4 tsp shiso sprouts
  • 4 tsp sun sprouts
  • 4 tsp fried shallots
  • 1 1/2 cups Ume Dressing (see above)
  • 8–12 slices lotus root
  • 8 pieces sesame crisps, optional


Yield: Serves 4

Make Pickled Red Onion

  1. Peel and julienne onion, then set aside in medium bowl.
  2. In small saucepan, bring vinegar and water to a boil. Season with salt, peppercorns, fennel seeds, bay leaf and thyme. Continue boiling for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and pour over onion. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Make Dressing

  1. In blender, combine all ingredients and puree, until smooth. Set aside.

Make Slaw

  1. Soak green onions in very cold water to keep crisp. Meanwhile, heat large pot of oil. When temperature reaches 400F, deep-fry vermicelli in two batches for 2 seconds per batch, or until they curl. Remove vermicelli from oil and place on paper towel. Lightly salt and set aside.
  2. At same temperature in same oil, deep-fry taro root in two batches for 2 seconds per batch, until crisp and light gold in color. Remove from oil and place on paper towel. Lightly salt and set aside.
  3. Divide vermicelli between 4 plates. Arrange green onion, cucumber, carrot, pickled ginger, jicama, daikon, tomatoes and Pickled Red Onion around noodles, top with fried taro root, toasted sesame seeds and roasted peanuts.
  4. In small bowl, combine flower petals, seedlings, sprouts and fried shallots. Sprinkle mixture on salad and top with Ume Dressing. Add lotus root around edge of bowl, and sesame crisps in centre of slaw, if using.

Photography by Transparent Kitchen (Susur Lee's portrait)/Jonathan Adediji (slaw)