Unashamedly, eating peanut butter straight from the jar has to be one of my favorite pastimes. If I fancy being a little more proper, I might dunk a slice of fruit into the jar rather than a spoon (or finger) and enjoy every bit of sticky yumminess that clings to the roof of my mouth. Any kind of nut is a good nut to whip and blend into spreadable gorgeousness, and no one knows that better than the dynamic duo behind Naked Nut Butters. They’ve taken Beijing by storm and shown us just how nut butters can be partnered with almost anything!
In this issues’ Food for Thought, we teamed up with Head Chef Simone of business incubator and restaurant The Hatchery, to show us how we can transform a mundane salad into an epic one using cashew nut butter, from the Naked Nut Butter range. Sweet and sticky nut butters have long been used to level up savory dishes, from the spicy but sweet Thai dish satay chicken to the west African delicacy spicy peanut soup. In keeping with this classic mix of savory with sweet, we saw that it was only fit to go naked nut butter crazy with a Chinese staple: choy sum.
Vegetables have a reputation for being the boring addition to a plate of food, usually overcooked and left sullenly on the side to remind us to consume our ‘five-a-day’. With China’s seemingly endless variations of fruit and vegetables, learning how to transform them using simple and tasty ingredients will serve you well. Vegetables, when cooked and dressed the right way, are fresh and flavorsome, and that’s why Chef Simone is really giving us some food for thought with this humble but appetizing recipe.
– 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar (or use cider or rice vinegar)
– 1 tsp sugar
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– 2 tbsp cashew butter
– 1 tbsp sesame oil
– 1 clove of garlic
– 1/2 onion
– 1/4 cup cashew nuts
– sea salt
– 2 tbsp sesame seeds
– 1 cup choy sum
1. For the dressing, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, white wine vinegar, salt, sugar, and cashew nut butter. Set aside.
2. Toast the sesame seeds in a small pan over medium heat until slightly brown
3. Thinly slice and fry the onion until caramelized and set aside
4. In a dry pan lightly toast the cashew nuts
5. Blanch the choy sum for 10 minutes until al dente or to your liking
6. Drain and place the choy sum on a dish and drizzle over the dressing
7. Finally, garnish the choy sum with the fried onion, cashew nuts, and a sprinkle of sea salt
This article first appeared in the beijingkids March 2019 Sustainability issue.
Photos: Uni You