By Ping Coombes

‘This is a salad like no other. It sounds ordinary, but it holds a myriad of surprise textures and flavours. You can use pretty much any vegetables, but texture is important as every mouthful gives a different kind of crunch.

The salad can be made in advance and then it is simply an assembly job. I tend to put different bowls of vegetables, garnishes and a large bowl of peanut sauce on the table and ask friends and family to help themselves.’

This dish will be available to order throughout January 2017 at Chi Kitchen  Oxford Street. 

Read about what we ate when we visited Ping Coombes Breakfast Club

Ping’s Decembe dish is Ã¢â‚¬ËœPandan Dan Kelapa Panna Cotta’ – Pandan and Coconut Panna Cotta with Mango and Pineapple. 

Serves 4

1 tbsp Salt

20 Green Beans, topped and tailed

1 large Carrot, peeled and cut into 0.5cm rounds

1 large Baking Potato, peeled and cut into even small chunks

3 tbsp Vegetable Oil

½ a 200g block of Tofu, cut into 2cm cubes

½ Cucumber, halved lengthways (unpeeled) and cut into 1cm half moons

100g Bean Sprouts

For the garnishes

2 medium Free-Range Eggs

1 quantity Peanut Sauce (recipe on page 40 of’Malaysia’)

8–10 ready-made Prawn Crackers

4 tbsp Crispy Shallots

  • Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the salt. Fill a large bowl with ice-cold water.
  • Add the green beans to the boiling water and bring it back up to the boil. Simmer for 2–3 minutes until they’re cooked but still crunchy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drop them into the ice-cold water.
  • Add the carrot rounds to the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes, removing them with a slotted spoon and dropping them into the ice-cold water with the beans. Do the same with the potato chunks, cooking them for 10–15 minutes, until they’re cooked through but not falling apart.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the tofu for 15 minutes until brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Boil the eggs for 6 minutes if you want them soft-boiled, or 8 minutes if you prefer them hard-boiled. Once cool, peel away the shell and quarter the eggs.
  • Put the peanut sauce in a saucepan over a low heat and warm it through (do not let it boil).
  • Mix together the cooked vegetables, tofu, cucumber and bean sprouts, and divide among 4 bowls.
  • Place the peanut sauce and bowls of garnishes in the middle of the table. Spoon on a generous amount of peanut sauce over the vegetables, scatter with crumbled prawn crackers, crispy shallots and the eggs. Mix well and tuck in.

TIP: The other half-block of tofu can be used to make Mee Goreng Mamak (page 121 of’Malaysia’).

Photography (c) Laura Edwards. Recipe from: MALAYSIA: Recipes from a Family Kitchen by Ping Coombes. Published by Orion. Hardback: £25, eBook: £12.99.