Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by making a Korean salad. This is a healthy dish that'll bring color to any meal and so simple that your kids can where the chef's hat for this recipe. Koreans traditionally eat this salad with grilled meat, but you can eat it by itself as well. Add a bowl of steamed white rice, and your meal is complete. Don’t forget the chopsticks! And be sure to tell your child that you'll be using three of Korea’s main ingredients for their marinades—soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes. Tickle their sense of taste and smell with these new flavors.
The recipe below is for one serving.
What You Need:
- Mixing bowl
- Small salad bowl
- Cutting board
- Vegetable peeler
- Green leaf lettuce (5-6 leaves for one person)
- Green onion (1/2 green onion for one serving)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ¾ tbsp sesame oil
- ¼ tsp sugar
- Red pepper flakes (you can omit this if you don't want your salad with a little spice)
What You Do:
- Have your child gently rip off 5-6 good lettuce leaves and wash them in cold water. Pat them dry.
- Depending on how skilled your child is when it comes to using a knife in the kitchen, you can cut the lettuce if you like. Once the lettuce is cut, place it in a mixing bowl.
- Have your child peel the cucumber with a vegetable peeler. Slice as many rounds as you’d like for your salad. Place the cucumber slices into the mixing bowl.
- Wash the green onion before cutting it. Cut the green onion into thin slices. Place ½ the green onion into the mixing bowl, depending on your tastes.
- For the dressing, help your child measure and mix properly. This is great math practice! Have her smell the soy sauce and the sesame oil. Tell her that these are popular ingredients in Korean cooking.
- Add a tablespoon of soy sauce to the mixing bowl. Mix the salad. The lettuce leaves should be wet with the soy sauce but not drenched.
- Then add the sesame oil. Sprinkle the sugar and the red pepper flakes over the top. Make sure not to add too much. Mix gently to incorporate everything. Taste and adjust the ingredients as needed.
- Transfer the salad into a small salad bowl and enjoy a taste of Korea with your next meal!
Tina Cho has been an elementary teacher for 11 years, mainly in the kindergarten classroom. She is currently a freelance writer.