I ate a green kiwi fruit in New Zealand and it changed my mind about the fruit. It was firm but sweetly fragrant and juicy, so different from the rather sour ones I had tasted before.
I realised I had always eaten them too soon.
During my stay in the country, I ate one every morning after breakfast and another at teatime, a refreshing break. We were staying in a cabin with a kitchen. One night, I decided to make a salad with it as I did not have the usual salad fixings. I did, however, have an apple, some grapes and an avocado. My husband believes that eating avocados helps to lower his cholesterol.
All that went into the bowl and as I was looking for a savoury hit, I decided to add some pickled clams that I had found at the local grocer. It made for an unusual but interesting combination. Quite workable, except that the clam pickling liquid was a bit strong for the fruit.
Still, the salad was a refreshing match to the mee goreng I also turned out that night - with instant noodles, chilli powder that I found also on the shelves, eggs and fresh tomatoes. I even made some fried onions to top the noodles with.
I realised this kiwi fruit could find a regular place in my market basket. Despite its unprepossessing appearance - oval with a brown furry coat - its flesh is a vivid green or gold. And it is power-packed with goodness.
It is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, as well as copper and dietary fibre.
It also has plenty of vitamin E, potassium, folate and manganese.
To make sure it is ripe, give it a press and it should give a little. If it feels hard, leave it out to ripen for a few days. The fruit is sweet and fragrant at the height of ripeness.
While I had all along eaten it as a fruit, cut into half then scooped out with a spoon, having used it in a salad widened its possibilities.
I could make a chutney as I do with pineapple.
Indeed, whatever I could do with a pineapple, I could do with a kiwi fruit, as they both have a tart, sweet finish.
I could add it to tomyam soup, cook it with prawns in a tamarind gravy and, yes, replicate that salad I concocted in the country that gave it its name.
This time, I would substitute fresh prawns for the clams and use just lemon juice, salt and sugar to dress the salad for a cleaner taste.
To create a bowl of glorious greens, I would choose only green fruit and vegetables, and perhaps some red chilli for a vibrant contrast. I would also restrict the amount of sweet fruit used so as to achieve a more neutral palette, allowing the kiwi fruit to shine through.
The recipe here is the result of my final experimentation.
It is sweet, tart and tasty, especially with the addition of fruit, which should go down well with people who do not like greens.
I served it with a grilled chicken, but it should go well with staples such as spicy noodles or fried rice.
And in this way, a family favourite was created.
- 2 green apples, cored and cut into small pieces
- 1 avocado, peeled, pit removed
- 1 lemon
- 2 to 3 green kiwi fruit, peeled
- 2 Japanese cucumbers, sliced thickly
- 12 medium-sized prawns, boiled and peeled
- 2 red chillies, sliced
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp sugar or to taste
- Cut the avocado into small pieces. Squeeze some lemon juice over them to prevent the fruit from browning. Leave aside.
- Rinse the apple pieces in water to which lemon juice has been squeezed, also to prevent browning.
- Cut the peeled kiwi fruit into same-sized pieces.
- Place the cut fruit and sliced cucumber in a glass bowl, with the kiwi fruit on top.
- Season with salt and sugar and toss. Adjust to your taste.
- Top with prawns and red chillies. The salad can be made in advance and refrigerated. Serve chilled.
Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.
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