UA-31290512-1

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Memories of Tonga Vava'u

Gluten-free bean thread salad ingredients, all purchased in
Vava'u's fabulous produce market in Neiafu, Tonga.
Still underway from Tonga to New Zealand.  Hang in there -- we'll arrive soon with lots more posts coming up.

Meanwhile check out all this great stuff from Neiafu Tonga's fantastic produce market.

This was used in a gluten-free bean thread recipe, adapted from one made by Anna of Shine at a potluck in Suwarrow, Cook Islands.












Bean Thread Salad

4 oz bean threads (1/2 a n 8 oz package, a typical “smaller” size) – preferably vermicelli style if you’re lucky enough to find them as such
2 oz. tamari*
1-2 oz. fish sauce
1 oz. lime juice (or to taste – likely more than less)
1 T rice wine vinegar**
1 T chopped garlic (or to taste)
1 t “rooster sauce” chili paste***
vegetables – what’s on hand, to desired volume
protein (optional)
¼ c fresh cilantro (or to taste), roughly chopped (optional – we prefer it whenever it’s available)

Directions
1.     Place the bean threads in a colander seated in a bowl for easy draining once they’re done and add enough boiling water to cover them.  When they are completely transparent, I figure they’re done.  I just let them sit until the veggies are ready to mix in and that seems to be about enough time.

2.     Mince the garlic and set it aside for the dressing.

3.     Prepare the vegetables.  For carrots either shred of cut them into matchsticks.  Green onions cut into ~ 1 ½ inch sections and then sliver them by cutting them vertically, rather than cutting them into rounds (although that would be fine, too).  Onions, preferably purple, cut into thin slices then either separate the rings or cut them into smaller strips.  Bell peppers or peeled cucumbers, cut into matchsticks.  Peas or better yet, snow peas are also excellent “adds.”

4.     Protein to consider adding:  prawns, finely diced cooked pork, chicken or beef.

5.     Dressing:  in a measuring cup, add the minced garlic, tamari, fish sauce, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, and rooster sauce and mix well.

6.     Drain the bean threads.  If desired, hack at the softened bean thread noodles with a knife or two knives to cut them into more manageable lengths – too hard or messy to do before they’re cooked.

7.     Transfer the bean threads into a bowl (I usually use a larger bowl then when everything’s mixed, transfer it into a smaller serving bowl).  Add the veggies, meat, cilantro and dressing and stir well.  Adjust to taste, though consider letting it sit for 10 minutes before adjusting or serving.

We’ve eaten this over 3 days and it still keeps well.  One of the reasons I don’t add tomatoes is they would not keep as well for that long once chopped and mixed in.



*gluten-free soy sauce, preferably low sodium
**Anna did not mention this but we decided to add a little rice wine vinegar and like it much better with it added.  The flavors pop more and we prefer the extra acidity.

***Anna uses a chili, then removes it – I would not remove it – maybe she does because she has kids which often seem to not like hot-spicy foods as much.  If I didn’t have chili paste, I would add either 1 t-T finely chopped fresh jalapeno or if that’s not available, crushed red pepper, at least ¼ t.

Location Location:
This post was pre-published from Nuku'alofa, TONGA outside Big Mama's Yacht Club (S21 07.134 W175 09.622).  When it posts we will be underway to New Zealand, with a possible stopover in Minerva Reef (S23 37 W178 57).  We expect to arrive in Opua New Zealand (S35.19 E174.07) in mid-November.


Cruising Progress by the Numbers
We started our cruising season December 7th 2014, from Jacksonville FL NAS, USA. 
By the time we arrive in New Zealand in November, less than a year from when we set out, we expect we’ll sail over 10,000 miles this year.  That’s a lot of miles for a boat with a hull speed of 7 knots; we usually sail far slower than that.

 The prior 2 years combined, we sailed 3762 miles.