Li Hing Mui Juice 1 ½ Tbsp rock salt plum 1 Tbsp White Li Hing Mui 1 Tbsp Sweet Li Hing Mui 1 Tbsp Lemon Peel Li Hing Mui 3 Tbsp King Plum Li Hing Mui
⅔ fl cup Port, A Ramos Pinto 2005 Late Bottled Vintage* ¾ cup Vermouth, A Cocchi Vermouth Di Torino* ¼ fl cup Li Hing Mui Juice 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract About 10 dried prunes, cut in half
24 cherry tomatoes 12 pieces goat cheese, rolled into balls ½ cup macadamia nuts, lightly toasted 2 cups mixed baby lettuce 2 vanilla pods, split lengthwise, halved *The two alcohols have a lot of vanilla nuances in them so that’s why they are specific. If you can’t get these, ask your local bottle shop for recommendations.
i hing mui is a very popular snack in Hawaii. When growing up, I ate them like potato chips. There are leis made up of strung-together packages of li hing mui that people give as gifts. Li hing mui, called “crack seed” here on the islands, are dried preserved plums and are Chinese in origin. Found in Asian grocer shops, they can be sweet, salty, sour, wet or dried. Other
fruit, including lemons, mangoes and other stone fruit, are also given the li hing mui treatment. The nuances are all about the balance of sweet/salty/sour, with so many variations they are never consistently the same taste. This salad uses a dessert port, a dessert vermouth, and seductive vanilla. Alan Wong for Vanilla Table by Natasha MacAller
Add 1 ¼ fl cups/300ml water to all the ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool, strain and then add to the dressing.
Heat the port and vermouth in a small saucepan. Let boil 5 minutes to burn off the alcohol, then remove from heat and decant to a bowl. Add the li hing mui juice, vanilla and prunes, whisking well. Set aside.
Strain the dressing, discarding prunes. Place dressing on the bottom of a bowl. Arrange the mixed baby lettuce, tomatoes, goat cheese balls and lightly toasted macadamia nuts on top, garnish with the vanilla pods.
64 October 20, 2016 Metropol