If the guest list for your next summer soirée is as sizeable as your patio is tiny, take a page from ROAMING DRAGON, a Vancouver food truck specializing in pan-Asian cuisine: The two-year-old operation, which occupies the corner of Burrard and Robson streets and is owned by Jason Apple and Jory Simin, passes enough food through the window of its cramped kitchen on wheels to feed 500 people in a single service.
According to Apple, whose menu includes such hand-held eat-while-mingling items as pork-belly sliders, deep-fried rice balls and the refreshing chop salad featured here, his food-truck tricks can be a boon to time-pressed hosts: Specifically, “ready all of the mise en place ahead of time, but do the finishing touches – grilling, searing, plating – in front of guests,” an approach that is as performative as it is practical.
After all, says Apple, the art of satisfying a hungry throng “is about so much more than just food.”
1/8 cup pineapple, diced
1/8 cup dessicated, unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons goji berries
2 tablespoons shelled edamame
1/8 cup broccoli florets
1/8 cup cucumber, seeded and diced
8 leaves spinach
1/8 cup purple cabage 30g, finely sliced
1/4 cup Napa cabbage, finely sliced
6 carrot ribbons, sliced with a vegetable peeler
25 roasted peanuts
1/2 cup puffed rice
10 mint leaves
10 rau om leaves
5 sawtooth leaves, cut into thirds
Mango and lime vinaigrette
1 tablespoon shallots, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, roughly chopped
2 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
4 cups pickled green mango
1 bunch cilantro with stems, roughly chopped
3 cups Olivola ( ½ canola, ½ olive oil)
Kosher salt to taste
In a lidded Tupperware or bowl, place the pineapple, coconut, goji berries, edamame, broccoli, and cucumbers.
Top with purple cabbage, sui choy and carrot ribbons.
In a second contain, place spinach and all of the herbs.
In a third contain, place peanuts and rice puffs.
In a fourth container, mix the ingredients of the vinaigrette. To make the vinaigrette, Pour 1/4 of the oil into a blender. Add shallots and garlic.
Blend well and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
Taking half of the remaining ingredients blend together. Set aside in the same bowl used in the first step.
Take the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and silky.
Combine all blended ingredients in a bowl and whisk to incorporate.
Season with salt to taste.
When ready to serve the salad, pour vinaigrette (to taste) into a large bowl. Add the contents of the first and second container. Gently toss with tongs. Top with rice puffs and peanuts.
Follow Roaming Dragon on Twitter: @DragonTruck.