Lettuce and Chive Salad, Korean Style

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 15 minutes

In Korea, the chives would be served alone, as a side dish. And you can certainly do that. But I love tossing them and their distinctive dressing on top of a mound of greens. It’s a great salad to serve with many East Asian dishes.

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice or other mild vinegar

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon sugar

8 ounces (2 large bunches) chives

4 cups any tender lettuce or mixed lettuces

About 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

01 Make the dressing by combining the sesame oil with the red pepper flakes, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and about 1 tablespoon water.

02 Wash and dry the chives, then cut them into 1- or 2-inch lengths. Toss with the lettuce, then pour the dressing over all and toss again. Garnish with the sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Variation

Seasoned Perilla or Shiso Leaves. Great on salads or as a garnish: Instead of the chives, use 1 bunch of perilla leaves. If you have time, layer the leaves with the dressing in an airtight container and let them marinate in the refrigerator for a few days. Or to eat immediately, steam the leaves first, shock in ice water, drain, and dress.