Broccoli Crunch Salad

broccoli crunch again2This is a variation on the vegetarian broccoli salad I first saw here. Using simpler ingredients is fine. The most difficult part for me (in Japan) is the almond butter, as I have to make it myself. However, with a good food processor it’s simple. I’ll post instructions soon, but in the meantime, it’s easy to find them online.

Ingredients
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup almond butter
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 head broccoli
1 medium-sized apple
1/4 small red onion
1/3 cup candied nuts (Pecans, walnuts, or almonds: to candy nuts, first chop roughly, then put in a dry frying pan with a few spoonfuls of sugar. Heat and stir until sugar melts and coats nuts. Pour out onto aluminum foil and let cool completely.)

Instructions

Crush the garlic clove with the side of a knife. Chop well, then crush the pieces again. Repeat two or three times until garlic becomes a paste. Mix with the other dressing ingredients: salt, almond butter, lemon juice, honey, and olive oil, and set aside.

Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces. Blanch in boiling water for 60 seconds, then drain.

Cut apple into small bite-size pieces, and slice red onion thinly. Combine broccoli, apple, onion, and candied nuts.

When ready to serve, mix with the dressing. If the dressing is too thick, add a little water. (However, I always find that the water absorbed by the broccoli will thin out the dressing, so adding water makes it too thin.)

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Ingredients in Japan: Nuts

This post is part of a series about the differences in ingredients between Japan and the U.S. When I first arrived in Japan, I had a lot of trouble at times because I wasn’t used to these differences, so hopefully this information is helpful! For the full list of posts in this series, see this page.

Nuts are definitely available in Japan, but not in as wide a variety as we found in the U.S. The most common are almonds and peanuts, but others that are easy to find include walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, and pistachios. There are a few “nuts” that are also commonly found, such as chestnuts, pine nuts, and ginkgo nuts.

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Other nuts (hazelnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts) are difficult to find. Most Japanese people that I asked had never heard of pecans, and even when I showed them one, they couldn’t distinguish them from walnuts.

Despite being generally available, nuts are, like many baking ingredients in Japan, sold in small packages for high prices. If you like to cook with or snack on nuts, the best way is to buy them online or at places like Costco. As a comparison, if you look at the picture above, you can see a small bag of pistachios (30g / 1 oz) I bought at my local supermarket, next to the bag of almonds I bought at Costco (3 lb / 1.36 kg).

As far as usage, nuts seem to be seen as a snack food. They are sold in small bags for snacking, or used in candy.